Liquefied Natural Gas – The Solution to Meet Emissions Requirements?

by on ‎07-15-2011 08:39 AM

With rising oil prices and emissions concerns comes increased interest in natural gas as a marine fuel. Det Norske Veritas (DNV) has recently come out in support of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as the optimum solution for ships operating in ECA areas where potentially very expensive, ultra-low sulphur diesel fuel (ULSD) would otherwise be required:

 

(DNV, February 21, 2011)

A report from DNV says that using LNG as fuel is the most efficient and economical way for ships to meet air emissions requirements in the U.S. and Canada that take effect in August 2012. Environmental Control Areas (ECA) will gradually be enforced along the North American coastlines. They will have full force in 2015 and 2016, leaving shipowners a limited number of options for modifications to their ships if they want to continue trade in North America.

“Domestic ships in North America have three options to meet new emissions control regulations; install CO2 scrubbers, burn low sulfur fuel, or switch to LNG fuel for the ship's propulsion,” says Kenneth Vareide, director of operations for DNV North America Maritime.

Mr. Vareide says that an LNG fuelled propulsion plant may add about $3.6 million to the cost of a typical domestic cargo ship, however, over the operating life of the vessel, at today’s gas rates, LNG fuel would save more than $4 million over CO2 scrubbers and $12 million for low sulfur fuel.”

Specifically, the use of LNG fuel for a ship would reduce nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions by 85-90%, sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter by almost 100%, and it would result in 15-20% less greenhouse gas emissions.

DNV’s report is the first study of U.S. and Canadian domestic shipping and recommendations to meet new environmental legislation for North America. “LNG is particularly an attractive alternative for vessels with a fixed trading pattern, which should fit well with the biggest segments; ferries, offshore support vessels and tug/push boats. Besides, much of the coastal trade in the U.S. is fixed in its trade pattern and we have been in contact with several companies that are considering LNG for newbuildings and conversions,” says Mr. Vareide.
(You can access the report HERE)

 

Dual-fuel marine engines are now available using about 1% ULSD injection to ignite the gas charge in the engine cylinder, and they are finding increased appeal to owners wishing to demonstrate the best ship emission credentials by eliminating SOX and particulates while reducing CO and NOx emissions. Capital (investment) cost and supply-chain concerns have many shipowners concerned about the viability of LNG as a fuel.

 

Tell us what you think about using LNG. Are engine manufacturers clear on the additional capital cost and engine performance using LNG? Are you looking at LNG to reduce emissions and insulate your fleet from continued escalation in oil prices? What are your propulsion and auxiliary power requirements? Let’s get the dialog going….

Comments
by Contributor det
on ‎07-18-2011 09:50 AM

Our company deals with CAT engines on land-based drilling rigs a great deal. One of the huge things right now is Bi-fuel, where natural gas is injected into the intake manifold in substitution of diesel. However, one large point that is brought up is whether the EPA and other agencies will actually consider this an emissions reduction, since the engine can run on 100% diesel. So another question for discussion is whether the emissions regulators will be sophisticated enough to accept diesel engines that run on mostly natural gas, but are still capable of running on diesel.

by Contributor Jaime-Tetrault
on ‎07-18-2011 10:31 AM

Excellent series of questions Ken!  If anyone who may responding to Ken's posting has experience in the aftermarket with low sulphur fuels and is knowledgable about the impact on their marine vessel operations, please add this to the contribution.  We are always looking for good advice on how to service our products around the globe.

by Super Contributor
on ‎07-18-2011 08:20 PM

Has anyone at CAT talked with these folks in Denmark?

 

http://www.greenship.org/

 

I heard about them a couple of years ago in Denmark and ran into some folks from them in Los Angeles Harbor a few months ago.  They seem to be gathering a lot information on this and other subjects relating to reducing marine engine emissions and reducing environmental impact of commercial shipping.

 

Mike L.

About the Author
  • I joined Caterpillar in 2001 in the Extended Service Coverage (extended warranty) department of Cat Insurance (division of Cat Financial). I have always loved the water, ships, boats and the challenges of this industry and moved to Caterpillar Marine Power Systems (CMPS) in 2007. I was fortunate to be able to work at CMPS Headquarters in Hamburg, Germany for 2 years and now reside at our Marine Center of Excellence in South Carolina, USA. As the Marine Parts Manager for Cat Marine Parts I am able to work cross functionally with our regional product support teams, our extensive dealer network, customers and bring this knowledge and customer expectations to Caterpillar's incredible resources to design new and innovative product support solutions to meet our customer expectations. This gives me great pride and enjoyment to meet and exceed your expectations and promote the Cat Marine Brand.
  • In 2005, I started my career at Caterpillar as an intern in Kiel, after that I worked as a student and then a temporary employee. I finally became a permanent employee in 2008, working at the Marine World headquarters in Hamburg. Through all these years I was supporting and leading Marketing projects from various areas, including Electronic Sales Tools, Shows, Novelties etc. By May 01, 2011 my job role changed to the current one. In this position I am leading several Electronic Marketing projects such as all Marine and Oil & Gas Social Media activities.
  • After around 10 years of good time in mineral & metal industry, the destiny has guided me through BMW, ThyssenKrupp to the Caterpillar station. At the moment I'm serving as a Six Sigma Strategy Black Belt in Caterpillar Marine Power System.
  • I joined the Caterpillar Team 2007 and worked in several positions most likely in Product Support. 2008 I passed the 6 Sigma Black Belt Training and has leaded various sales and process related projects. After the certification as a 6 Sigma Black Belt I joined the CMPS Product Support Team as a Global Marketing Representative.
  • A maritime academy graduate and a 17 year employee of Caterpillar with 25 years of marine experience, currently managing the Caterpillar Marine Power System Product Support Division representing all product health, product support, parts sales and distribution development activities for Cat and MaK brand marine engines.
  • Originally from Spain, I moved to Hamburg, Germany, in 2010 to write my Master’s Thesis in Industrial Engineering. Upon its completion, I had the opportunity to join Caterpillar Marine Power Systems as an intern at their headquarters. During this period, I supported, in various capacities, sales into the Cargo and European Inland Waterways markets, as well as Offshore Wind opportunities. I am currently working as a Junior Territory Sales Manager in the Europe, Africa, Middle East and CIS Sales Team.
  • Born in Brazil, Luiz joined the Caterpillar engine team in 1998 and has worked in different positions covering marine service, product application and sales. Currently he is a Black Belt under the Caterpillar Marine group.
  • A veteran of 12.5 years Naval service, in the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. 3.5 years as a Marine Application and Installation Engineer at a CAT dealership. I have been working for Caterpillar Marine Power Systems since 2008. My time at Caterpillar has been spent helping to develop global emissions solutions for 3500 marine engines.
  • I am the Asia Pacific contact for marine parts marketing. With marine customers being the most mobile group, with operations spanning the entire globe, there are always new challenges and learning opportunties to engage in. Life in marine is never boring!
  • I have been involved in sales and marketing of Caterpillar marine products for almost 45 years including 10 years in the U.K. where I worked on North Sea oil and gas projects. For the past 35 years I have various roles within the marine business of Toromont Cat where I have assembled a portfolio of Caterpillar and MaK powered new construction and repower projects including ferries, Great Lakes bulk-carriers and self-unloaders, Coast Guard vessels and pleasure craft. I admit that my knowledge has come from a hands-on approach to engine sales by wearing coveralls and a hard hat rather than a business suit. I am based in Toronto and am an active member of the C.I.Mar. E. Great Lakes Branch and participate in SNAME Great Lakes/Great Rivers meetings in the U.S.
  • I ensure that our Cat global dealer network has the tools required to support our Propulsion Solutions products including our Cat Three60 Precision Control.
  • I have been at Caterpillar for nearly 31 years. All this time has been related to Diesel engines, with the first 23 years in Fuel Systems, the next 3 in the Engine Center, and the last 4 here in Hamburg, Germany, as the Worldwide Demand Manager for Marine and Petroleum MaK engines. In this role, I touch many areas, from concept to delivery, from shipyard to factory. I work with Dealers, Sales Managers, Customers, Accountants, and Order Processors, all the way to the factory floor. Those who know me know that I wouldn’t have it any other way.
  • I am a Mechanical Engineer with 17 years of experience with Caterpillar Engine Products, currently working at Caterpillar Marine Power Systems Headquarters in Hamburg, Germany. I am responsible for product support and Dealer development, and support dealers in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.
  • I am a 33 year employee of Caterpillar and have focused on engines my entire career. For the last 18 years I have worked in the Marine group in various capacities. Since 2004 I have been the Global Marketing Manager for the Pleasure Craft segment, managing all trade shows, advertising, events, and NPI (New Product Introduction) launches.
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