BSM Explores 'LNG as a Marine Fuel'

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

September 11, 2015

Photo: BSM

Photo: BSM

Press release - Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) highlighted the issues and solutions surrounding LNG as a marine fuel at its industry forum, LNG as a Marine Fuel: Addressing the Challenges. Attended by close to 100 delegates from the ship owning, equipment manufacturing, brokering and media segments of the industry, the session was held in conjunction with London International Shipping Week 2015, which opened this Monday.

Chaired by Chris Clucas, Corporate Expert - Liquefied Gas for BSM and the President of the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF), the event explored the commercial and environmental advantages of using LNG as a fuel, challenges associated with increasing adoption and implications for the future.

Joining the session for a holistic industry insight were prominent industry personnel Mark Bell, General Manager for Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF); Mats Fagerberg, Partner at Affinity Shipping LLP; John Grant, General Manager for Wartsila UK Ltd and John Eltringham, Project Director at BSM.

A highlight of the session was the presentation from John Eltringham, who demonstrated the technical challenges associated with the development of vessels that use LNG as a fuel. He then explained how the level of expertise gained through this process enabled BSM to develop, in partnership with Babcock LGE, an innovative Gas Supply Vessel design for LNG fuelled ships, terminals and other marine craft. This design enables delivery of LNG to small onshore facilities and large off-pipe consumers, and is suitable for coastal and seagoing operation. BSM has reinforced its reputation for training by the addition of additional berths to fast track LNG training and the environmental credentials of the design are second to none.

The panel, moderated by Karen Thomas from LNG World Shipping, looked at first mover advantage, economies of scale and the need for a sustainable business model to make LNG fuelled vessels commercially viable. However the importance of regulation and oil prices to the commercial viability of the decision remained a common thread through the discussions. 

When asked to comment on when the use of LNG as a marine fuel would accelerate, the panellists were united in their view that with most vessel sectors having a gas fuelled vessel design in the wings, a step towards change in the market was inevitable in the near future.

Following the panel session, delegates used the discussion session to comment and raise questions on the importance of legislation and corresponding economic factors that were stressed during the earlier the presentations. The floor was vociferous in its agreement on the importance of maintaining the current safety record in the LNG sector and shared thoughts and recommendations on improved and new training approaches to ensure that the competence of talent in the gas sector was further elevated.

Describing the level of interaction during the 2-hour session, Captain Norbert Aschmann, Chief Executive Officer of BSM who was in attendance said, “The strong participation and quality debate we experienced demonstrates that there is active engagement on this topic, despite the relatively slow uptake of LNG as a fuel in the maritime over recent years.”

Managing 20 LNG vessels, BSM’s expertise in the area of LNG has long been utilized by shipowners keen to address the operational challenges associated with the use of LNG as a marine fuel. By building upon this proven and extensive capability BSM is now responding to the challenges faced in the development of the use of LNG as a fuel for ships, as more stringent vessel emissions regulations come into force and ship owners strive to find more cost-effective ways to power their ships.

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