Independent study confirms the role of Bio-LNG in the decarbonization of maritime transport


A new study commissioned by SEA-LNG has found that liquefied biomethane (bio-LNG) can make a significant contribution to maritime decarbonisation, reports Hellenic Shipping News.

Conducted by the Center for Excellence in Marine Energy and Sustainable Development (MESD CoE) at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), the study explored questions about fuel availability, cost, life-cycle emissions and the logistics, providing an overview of the applicability of bio-LNG as a marine fuel. It also investigated the feasibility of LNG and bio-LNG as a realistic path for the shipping industry to achieve greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in a sustainable manner.

Bio-LNG can be blended with fossil LNG in relatively small quantities to meet International Maritime Organization 2030 targets and the proportion of biofuel in the blend can be increased to meet 2050 targets.

Evaluation of the availability of Bio LNG for maritime transport 2030 to 2050 Source SEA-LNG
Evaluation of the availability of Bio LNG for maritime transport 2030 to 2050 Source SEA-LNG

The findings suggest that pure bio-LNG could cover up to 3% of the total energy demand for shipping fuels in 2030 and 13% in 2050. Considered as a replacement fuel combined with fossil LNG, bio -LNG could cover up to 16% and 63% of the total energy demand in 2030 and 2050, respectively, assuming a mixing ratio of 20%. In the long term, shipowners that have invested in the LNG route will need to switch to renewable synthetic LNG (e-LNG).

The report also forecasts that the average cost of delivered bio-LNG will fall 30% by 2050 compared to current values, driven primarily by the reduction in the cost of biomethane production in large-scale anaerobic digestion plants. This makes bio-LNG one of the cheapest sustainable alternative marine fuels, compared to biomethanol and electrofuels, including e-ammonia and e-methanol.

Furthermore, the report highlights that the adoption of bio-LNG in shipping will be linked to the widespread use of biomethane in other sectors. This will require national and international standards for the injection of biomethane into gas networks, in addition to a commonly accepted certificate of origin scheme to efficiently market biomethane in its gaseous and liquefied forms and to minimize transportation costs.

Peter Keller, President of SEA-LNG, said: “The decarbonisation of shipping will require the use of multiple low and zero carbon fuels. Each fuel has its own individual, but similar, path to net zero. When evaluating decarbonisation options for the maritime sector, it is essential that each route is properly assessed, not just the destination. It is crucial that decision-making is guided by accurate information that evaluates each alternative fuel route in a similar way and throughout the life cycle (Well-to-Wake)”.

Translation results Cost comparison for alternative fuels per unit of energy produced Source: SEA-LNG
Translation results Cost comparison for alternative fuels per unit of energy produced Source: SEA-LNG

Keller added: “The viability of the LNG pathway depends on the volumes of bio-LNG and e-LNG that are available to the shipping industry, and the cost of these fuels compared to other zero or low carbon fuels. This latest study from the Center of Excellence for Maritime Energy and Sustainable Development at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, confirms that bio-LNG is a solution for the decarbonisation of the shipping sector thanks to mature and commercially available technologies for production and on-board fuel use, existing delivery infrastructure plus competitive cost compared to other sustainable biofuels and electrofuels.”

Associate Professor Jasmine Lam, Center Director, MESD CoE, NTU Singapore, said: “Our research concludes that bio-LNG, produced from sustainable biomass resources, has the potential to meet a significant proportion of future fuel demand. shipping energy. The findings show that bio-LNG is among the cheapest sustainable biofuels and can potentially offer a significant cost advantage over electrofuels by 2050.”

Bruno Piga, Research Consultant, MESD CoE, NTU Singapore, added: “Bio-LNG can provide up to 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to marine diesel if methane leakage is minimized in the production process and the escape of methane on board. It can be used as a direct fuel in existing LNG fueled engines and can also be transported, stored and refueled in ports using existing LNG infrastructure. This considerably reduces logistics costs compared to other alternative fuel.

Source: SEA-LNG & Hellenic Shiping News

Source Hellenic Shipping News

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