LNG and hydrogen are viewed as frontrunners to be the fuels that will help shipping reach IMO decarbonization ambitions, according to a new ABS survey.
LNG was the solution to the 2050 emissions target for 47 percent of respondents to the ABS Future Fuels LinkedIn Survey, while hydrogen was the answer for 40 percent. Just eight percent opted for ammonia and five percent for methanol.
LNG was again the dominant fuel option to get the industry to 2030 targets, securing the support of 64 percent of respondents, against 22 percent for hydrogen and seven percent each for ammonia and methanol.
The results illustrate the challenges facing shipowners in developing fleets that meet and exceed IMO targets.
“The first pathway is defined as ‘Light Gas’, using generally light, small molecule fuels with high energy content, but more demanding, mainly cryogenic fuel supply systems and storage. This group includes the relatively mature methane (as LNG) solution leading towards bio-derived or synthetic methane, and ultimately to hydrogen as fuel,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO.
“The second pathway is defined as ‘Heavy Gas’, by using generally heavier, more complex molecules, but with less demanding fuel supply and storage requirements than the light gas pathway. This group includes LPG, methanol and ethanol, leading to bio-derived or synthetic LPG/methanol and ultimately to ammonia.”
“The third pathway hinges on bio/synthetic fuels that are derived from renewable sources and can produce liquid fuels. These fuels have similar properties to diesel oil and thus are much less demanding in terms of new infrastructure and technologies onboard and can be utilized with minimal changes to current ship designs.”
But which particular pathway makes sense for a shipowner to focus on will depend on the operational profile and trade of the vessel, cautioned Wiernicki.