International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) identified the need to reduce toxic emissions, improve air quality and provide a platform that could work on long-term solutions to make a substantial difference to the environmental impact of ports.
The solution in liquefied natural gas
To be able to answer the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) call to reduce emissions of sulphur oxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide, the shipping industry is slowly but steadily pushing liquefied natural gas (LNG) as the preferred fuel of the future for vessels.
LNG has been identified as the primary medium-term solution as it offers substantial environmental benefits in comparison to conventional fuels. Sulphur and particle emissions would be reduced to almost zero, nitrogen oxide emissions by 85-90 percent and net greenhouse gases by 15-20 percent.
According to a recent study by the Danish Maritime Authority, the current use of natural gas within the Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA-zone), is expected to increase by 140 percent by 2020, due to the use of LNG as a shipping fuel and also its usage on land by trucks and buses. By 2015 a number of progressive shipping lines want to lead by example and feature LNG-powered vessels in their fleet. Several vessels today are already LNG-powered and more are on order.
A leading global think-tank
Many of the world’s leading ports joined forces in the LNG fuelled vessels working group, established under the auspices of the World Ports Climate Initiative (WPCI), to successfully implement the technology around the world.
The switch from conventional fuel to LNG presents several challenges for the shipping industry, and ports in particular. The costs associated with switching technologies and a lack of direction on issues like bunkering options have hindered progress on LNG-fuelled shipping. That’s where the LNG fuelled vessels working group comes in. In the working group many of the world’s leading ports work together to oversee the implementation of LNG as a marine fuel and tackle all the challenges that lie ahead. It is a think-tank tasked with finding solutions in terms of safety, infrastructure and regulations and developing guidelines on safety procedures for LNG bunkering operations.