What will be your clean fuel strategy?

By: Jeroen Berger, August 4, 2017

A question which is playing a greater role for more ship owners and shipping companies, is: shall I choose for Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) with the use of a scrubber, Marine Gas Oil (MGO), Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), bio-LNG, biodiesel, or GTL? Although oil-derived substances have been the most common marine fuels in recent decades, the higher oil prices, reduced gas prices, technological developments and the tightening environmental regulations are the main motivators to change that in the future.


16 November 2012 was for the Dutch Social and Economic Council (SER) one of the most important days in the SER-history. On that day the parties concerned have reached an Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth. Since then, various organizations have figured out different strategies for the use of clean, climate-friendly fuels. How will the energy mix look like for the maritime industry?


The SER have studied all the different fuels in her investigation report: Vision sustainable fuel mix for the maritime industry by 2014. We are looking to the alternatives one by one.


Will we transfer to LNG and biofuels overwhelmingly?


Not only we think that LNG will be a major player for sea transport, also the SER believes that the share for LNG in the seagoing market will grow rapidly. They predict a market share of 16 and 33 percent for the years 2030 and 2050 respectively. As far as they’re concerned, we will use a lot more biofuels in the future too. They predict a share of 5 percent for biofuels, for example biodiesel, of the total seagoing market by 2030. Actually, for us not very surprising if we are looking to all the environmental laws coming. The predicted seagoing market shares of GTL, wind power, hydrogen and electric power are low. For the year 2030 they predict a maximum share of only 1 percent.


If we are focusing on the inland waterway transport, we believe that LNG will be a major player as well. Also the SER predicts a sharp increase of 13 percent in 2030 and 26 percent in 2050. However, the expected share of GTL for the inland waterway sector and pleasure cruising is surprising. They expect 11 percent in 2030 and 19 percent in 2050.


We believe that GTL will be a major player in the inland waterways too. In our opinion, this synthetic diesel has business advantages as well as environmental benefits. For example, GTL can be delivered through the existing distribution network and has a more efficient combustion and the emissions of harmful gases like nitrogen, particulate matter and soot are much lower than a conventional diesel fuel.


What will be your clean fuel strategy?


Especially the emissions of harmful gases like carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxide (NOx), particulate matter (PM), ozone depleting substances (ODS), soot (Black Carbon) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are representing a growing problem for the nature, environment and the human health.


New environmental regulations are essential and to respond to this in time is very important for the continuity of your business. We know like no other that the rule: “One size fits all” shall not apply. Berger Maritiem is following the latest developments of available marine fuels closely and will be pleased to advice you with choosing the right fuel for your type of ship and operational sailing profile regarding the more restrictive regulations to reduce emissions of harmful gases by ships.


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