LNG use expanding exponentially

2019, March 1: With less than a year before stricter global restrictions on sulphur emissions come into force, use of the cleaner burning liquefied natural gas (LNG) for ship propulsion has expanded exponentially.

LNG-powered CMA CGM Louvre

The new regulations, set by the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) comes into force on January 1, 2020.

For ships operating outside designated Emission Control Areas, the limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships is 0.50% m/m (mass by mass). This restriction is expected to drastically reduce the amount of dangerous sulphur oxide emanating from ship exhausts.

Growth in the world fleet of LNG-powered vessels, slow at first (no doubt because of the high costs associated with retrofitting) is accelerating as the IMO deadline draws nearer. In 2018, the number of LNG-powered ships (according to one usually reliable source) grew by over 20%, from 118 in 2017 to 143.

There are about 135 LNG-powered ships currently on order.



ms Aida Nova

Carnival Corporation took possession of the world’s first cruise ship to be 100% powered (at sea and alongside) by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The M/S AIDAnova is 337 metres in length; draught 8.8 metres / 29 feet. It was launched on August 21, 2018 and ceremonially handed over on December 12, 2018 in Bremerhaven. It has been placed in the AIDA fleet.

Built by Meyer Werft, the 183,000 GRT AIDAnova is the largest cruise ship ever built in Germany. Carnival reportedly has on order LNG-powered ships for Costa Cruises, P&O Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises.

The 20 ships that the corporation has on order include ten that are LNG-powered. []