The LNG Marine Fuels Institute is a new organisation promoting the use of LNG as a marine fuel – can you tell us a little bit about how this initiative came about and the key priorities moving forward?
Yes certainly. Australia is blessed with significant natural iron ore and gas resources located in relatively close proximity to one another. This geographic fact coupled with Australia’s need for increased energy security, improved balance of payments and obvious improved public health are the main drivers for establishing lathe LNG Marine Fuel Institute.
How big of an impact will the current plethora of regulations have on the marine industry in general and why do you see LNG as the fuel of choice to comply?
We believe the global maritime industry take up of LNG as a marine fuel is and will be driven by the MARPOL Annex VI 2020 requirements and further establishment of strict SOx (0.1%) and NOx Tier III Emission Control Areas. Eventually, we maintain, the global charters and the fleets that support their trade will put short term compliance methods (scrubbers, SCR’s and EGR’s) into the ‘too hard’ basket given the international nature of our business.
How will you be promoting best practice in the use of gas as a marine fuel?
We will be engaging state and federal rainmakers in government to view our initiative with a defined purpose: Improve Energy Security in Australia. We have a unique sponsorship structure that will allow all stakeholders as proponents and competitors to enjoy in the development of a new and strategically important industry.
Shouldn’t we be switching to renewables?
Renewables are certain the end game for sustainable green energy. We support this. However, LNG as a marine fuel is a transitional fuel capable of economically and sustainably meeting a longer term.
What are the biggest challenges for ship-owners to convert to LNG and how big an investment is going to be needed?
The main challenge for shipowners in conversion, as I see it, is to efficiently schedule and complete every docking for conversion as quickly as possible so as to take the ship out of service for as little time as necessary.
You’re participating in the 3rd CWC LNG Fuels Summit – what do you hope to get out of the Summit and why are you involved?
I am looking forward to telling our story to whomever will listen from the perspective of the Southern Hemisphere while collecting needed intelligence to help Australia meet its energy security goals and take its position alongside the first movers in establishing ECA’s to drive the adoption of LNG as a marine fuel in the Southern Hemisphere.