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With the global shipping industry showing increased interest in the use of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) as a fuel for vessels, members of the International Association of Ports and Harbors are laying the groundwork for how ports worldwide can accommodate this emerging trend.



LNG will be the focus of technical committee and panel discussions at IAPH’s 28th World Ports Conference May 6-10 at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles.



It is generally expected that by 2015 a number of progressive shipping lines will have LNG-powered vessels in their fleet, presenting a challenge for ports and shipping lines worldwide.



Some vessels today are already LNG-powered and more are on order. According to a recent study from the Danish Maritime Authority the current use of natural gas within the SECA-zone is expected to increase by 140% by 2020, due to the use of LNG as a shipping fuel and usage on land by trucks and busses. Using LNG instead of conventional fuels offers substantial environmental benefits in comparison to conventional fuels. Sulfur and particle emissions would be reduced to almost zero, nitrogen oxide emissions by 85-90 per cent and net greenhouse gases by 15-20 per cent.



Overall, LNG is a cleaner, more cost-competitive fuel, and it meets the upcoming 2015 IMO regulations. Recognizing it as the ship’s fuel of the future, ports are preparing to offer safe storage and bunkering of LNG for shipping lines in or near their port areas.

Focusing on the use of LNG as a marine fuel, an “LNG Fuelled Vessels Working Group” has been established under the auspices of IAPH’s World Ports Climate Initiative (WPCI). The Working Group is tasked for one to develop guidelines on safe procedures for LNG bunkering operations providing ports around the world with an implementation guideline, if they wish to pursue this technology.

Among the active participants in the Working Group, are representatives from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The Working Group maintains close contacts with industry stakeholders currently using and/or handling LNG, as well as government agencies.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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