LNG Powered Vessels: a key to sustainable shipping goals


By  Eng.Mohammed Zaitoun, President and CEO of Zaitoun Green Shipping

Shipping has long been used as a principle means of transport worldwide. It has played a vital role in a nation’s economic development. However, emissions from vessels pose a significant environmental concern because of their impact on the atmosphere. Due to the rapidly rising world population, the world seaborne trade will also increase contributing to, and further exacerbating air pollution due to maritime transport.

To counter the effects of pollution, the IMO has developed regulations aiming to decrease emissions from vessels. These air pollution regulations focus on reduction of CO2, NOX, SOX and PM, since they are the main emissions of vessel engines. Due to the necessity of vessels to comply with tight restrictions on their emissions, new options and solutions have emerged in the shipping industry. The EU has called for a global approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping. Shipping emissions are predicted to increase between 50% and 250% by 2050 – depending on future economic and energy developments.

Utilization of LNG as a marine fuel is considered an attractive solution because of its low sulphur content and its relative low price. As a ship fuel, LNG removes SOX and PM emissions and reduces NOX and CO2 emissions. The maritime industry has been working for decades focusing in the air quality issues. LNG comes forth as a viable option and an unrivalled solution to critical air quality issues.

It is also believed that LNG as a marine fuel will drive opportunities in this sector. LNG bunkering offers a secure market for early movers. It has an excellent safety record ensuring incident free operations. It is also the only creditable alternative to meet national and international regulatory targets. LNG is readily available at scale now and offers a proven, affordable, and competitive solution for the maritime sector while retaining tremendous flexibility for the future. 

An international Maritime Consortium for a better future  

Zaitoun Green Shipping L.L.C has initiated a consortium, in collaboration with leading companies in smart technology, to improve the performance of container ships and to form a new business model for this market. The consortium led by Zaitoun Green Shipping consists of the top international industry key players such as MacGregor, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Marine Machinery & Equipment, Wärtsilä, Winterthur Gas & Diesel Ltd, Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT), WIN GD, CargoTech and Carinafour.  

The main benefit of the consortium is to protect the marine environment and drive growth through innovative, smart approaches, forming new business models that aim to lower the investment risk. Zaitoun focuses on producing environmental friendly vessels with a team of most innovative professionals who continue to shape the industry. The culture of the consortium plays a huge emphasis on safety, diversity and high ethical standards in order to establish an economical and efficient fleet of vessels for more probability.

Thus, it is clear that significant steps in the right direction would have to be taken; and a robust, progressive and equitable framework established to implement LNG fully in the sector complying to IMO regulations. The availability of most convenient fuel infrastructure in terms of climate and IMO compliance, quality & pricing will be the privilege for ports & terminals to attract the shipping lines.