Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is natural gas that is cooled to -162 degrees C for the ease of transport and storage. Since usual impurities or compounds in the natural gas are removed in the liquefaction plant, LNG releases far fewer emissions, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), the major cause of the greenhouse effect; nitrogen oxide (NOx); and sulfur oxide (SOx), which is completely eliminated. LNG has been widely used for combustion in power plants and as a utility gas, and is now being used as a marine fuel globally.
In the future, will all marine fuel be converted from heavy oil to LNG?
Research is currently being conducted on biofuels, hydrogen, ammonia, storage batteries, etc. as candidates for low/decarbonized fuels other than LNG. However, only LNG has been widely used in the market and has already entered a practical stage of use as a marine fuel. Therefore, when we look at the shipping industry over the next 20-30 years, we believe that a conversion to LNG fuel will inevitably occur.
Is it possible for all vessels to use LNG as marine fuel?
LNG-fueled vessels require equipment that differs from that used on conventional heavy-oil-fueled vessels. Specific examples include engines that use natural gas as fuel, tanks that store LNG, hoses that provide fluid transfer, and coupling devices.
Why is LNG attracting attention as a marine fuel?
The IMO Global 0.5% Sulfur cap regulation that has been in force since 2020 requires significant reductions in sulfur emissions from vessels. Additionally, IMO EEDI Phase 3 requirements mandate a reduction rate of 30% in greenhouse gases from 2025 for many vessel types. LNG produces almost no SOx emissions, and compared to conventional marine fuels, reduces CO2 by about 30% and NOx by up to 80%. So LNG demonstrates excellent environmental performance.
"Gas" sounds dangerous. Is it safe?
Natural gas is lighter than air and thus tends to rise to upward. Moreover, its high auto-ignition temperature makes it safer.
What is the major difference between LNG and heavy fuel oil (HFO)?
LNG refers to "liquefied natural gas," which is produced by cooling natural gas in a gaseous state to as low as -162 degrees C. In a liquid state, the volume will become 1/600 of what it is as a gas. HFO, on the other hand, is liquid fuel obtained from crude oil distillation. LNG is considered to be a clean marine fuel because of its near-zero emission of sulphur oxide, and much lower emission of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide compared to conventional marine fuel, which includes HFO.