UCL Energy Institute is a very influential research group. The UCL part is University College London. Their investigation of LNG-fueled vessels indicates that these ships are not on the best path to reduce carbon emissions. Thus, many of them being built now will need to be scrapped early.
The study could be quite influential. Shipowners have recently been investing in LNG-powered ships to produce reduced emissions now, especially since methane emissions are not being measured as they should. LNG ships emit methane, a worse greenhouse gas than CO2, through slip from the engine and the fuel handling operations. Most ships have not put in place advanced methane recovery systems.
The ships involved are dual-fuel ships that burn both oil and LNG, as well as single-fuel LNG powered ships.
The scientific evidence seems to indicate that LNG power may actually be worse than Low Sulphur Heavy Fuel Oil (LSHFO) when all the lifecycle emissions are analyzed. So the ultimate economic effect of the now LNG builds may turn out to be quite a waste of money.
The full report from the UCL Institute can be read here.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is blowing its horn about the last set of rules they put forth. The sulfur cap rules began on January 1, 2020.
On January 1, 2023 a new set of rules will go into effect. These two regulations, the Energy Efficient Existing Ship (EEXI) and the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII), will provide greater impetus for cleaning up ocean shipping. Splash has put together a more in-depth article on these two regulations here.
The article has an excellent chart showing when different IMO regulations come into effect.
Ocean shipping is making attempts to help promote sustainability of ocean shipping.
The World Shipping Council wants the maritime industry to use a ‘well-to-wake’ measure for ships’ emissions, rather than a simple CO2 measure at the stack. It’s a good point.
Ocean shipping firms will do only as much as is required. And the current picture based on the International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s CII regulations, doesn’t require taking account of emission sources in the supply chain of fuels, or the greenhouse effect of process emissions such as methane leaks.
IMO’s own study shows that LNG may reduce smokestack emissions, but total greenhouse emissions are even greater than conventional fuel oil.