As a leading service provider with years-long experience in the maritime and oil and gas industries, we have gained extensive knowledge across the entire value chain of alternative fuels for ships. This web page provides an overview of the subject.
Why use alternative fuels for ships?
The shipping industry is under increasing pressure to act on the Paris Agreement and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The substantial emission reductions which must be achieved over the next decades are expected to drive technology development and, in particular, the introduction of low-carbon fuels. Furthermore, authorities are increasingly paying attention to the consequences of hazardous NOX, SOX and particle emissions at the local level.
Among all fuel alternatives under discussion, DNV GL has identified LNG, LPG, methanol, biofuel, hydrogen and other power-to-fuel (PtF) solutions as the most promising alternative fuels for shipping (see a comparison on web page “Fuels and technologies” > “Hydrogen and PtF”).
DNV GL believes battery systems, fuel cell systems and wind-assisted propulsion have reasonable potential for ship applications.
White paper on alternative fuels and technologies
All alternative fuel options are accompanied by benefits and challenges. DNV GL has composed a white paper which provides an introduction to alternative fuels and technology solutions. The objective of this paper is to provide decision support for investments in ships over the coming five to ten-year period. The paper focuses on technical parameters and limitations. The content can also be found on the new DNV GL web platform Alternative Fuels Insight (AFI).
The Alternative Fuels Insight (AFI) platform
DNV GL has enhanced the scope of the LNGi web platform to include other fuel alternatives and new key technologies. The new platform on alternative fuels is the unique intelligence platform from of DNV GL. It provides worldwide and continuously updated information on the entire alternative fuel value chain for ships. The platform aims to support newbuilding and conversion decision-making and business development, and accelerate the uptake of alternative fuels in shipping.
Crude oil, ship fuel & gas price development
In light of the price of oil-based ship fuel and gas as ship fuel, one has to consider the difference in the heating values generally used in shipping and in the gas industry. The lower heating value (lhv) of gas has to be assumed to compare it with oil-based ship fuel. Most sources from the gas industry use higher heating value (hhv), which gives about 10% lower LNG prices than indicated for lhv prices. For gas prices based on US Henry Hub, the liquefaction costs have to be added to the Henry Hub price. LNG in Europe competes with pipeline gas and therefore only the costs of distribution to the ship have to be added to the gas price. For a general overview of prices, go to the link below.
Ship rules for alternative fuels
The International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-Flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code) is the mandatory IMO instrument that applies to all gaseous and other low-flashpoint fuels in shipping, and to all gas-powered ships other than gas carriers. The IGF Code currently (2018) covers natural gas in liquid or compressed form (LNG, CNG). Regulations for methanol and low-flashpoint diesel fuels as well as for maritime fuel cells are under development. DNV GL class rules cover more fuels than the current IGF Code.