The development of LNG as a marine fuel in North America continues to gain momentum, according to panelists at a conference session at the International WorkBoat Show.
John Hatley, Americas vice president for Wärtsilä, made the case that LNG fuel not only eliminates major pollutants and reduces carbon dioxide emissions, its cost is about half that of ultra-low-sulfur diesel, which he called “champagne fuel.” Even with the recent decline in the price of crude oil, LNG continues to enjoy a competitive price advantage, he said. He also noted that Marad would provide Title 11 loan guarantees for marine LNG projects, which means lower-cost construction loans.
Aziz Bamik, general manager of GTT North America, reported that his engineering company recently licensed Conrad Shipyard to build its proprietary membrane containment systems that reduce the on-board space required for LNG storage.
“You can save up to 40 percent in volume,” he said, “which allows you to carry more mud or other cargo.” He said the first mock-up of a LNG bunker barge under construction at Conrad should be complete by the end of the year.
David Schultz, senior vice president of LNG America, admitted that there’s still “a lot of stuff to be put together” for LNG distribution, but said there’s an “enormous amount of supply for the Gulf from Sabine Pass” LNG export terminal and that his company will be able to supply LNG marine fuel in the Gulf by late 2015 or early 2016.
— Bruce Buls