SEA-LNG has carried out an analysis of the green LNG bunkering market which shows that bio-LNG is available today in almost seventy ports worldwide, including in Singapore, Rotterdam and the US east-coast.
The data on the expanded availability of bio-LNG as a marine fuel is revealed in the coalition’s update to its online Bunker Navigator tool, which provides information on the bunker availability of fuels in the LNG pathway worldwide.
Bio-LNG used in the maritime industry is produced from sustainable biomass feedstocks such as human or agricultural waste, which means it does not compete with the production of food, fibre or fodder, as defined by regulations such as the EU’s RED II and the Renewable Fuel Standards in America. Annual production of biomethane, from which bio-LNG is produced, is currently around 30m tonnes or around 10 percent of shipping’s total annual energy demand.
The current global fleet of 355 LNG-fuelled vessels, excluding LNG carriers, are all capable of using bio-LNG as drop-in fuel without any modification. Bio-LNG can also be transported, stored and bunkered in ports using the existing LNG infrastructure, which provides a route to further expansion of its availability in coming years. In general, the use of bio-LNG as a marine fuel can reduce GHG emissions by up to 80% compared to marine diesel on a full well-to-wake basis.
Depending on the method of production, bio-LNG can have net-zero or even net-negative GHG emissions on a lifecycle basis, creating immediate opportunities for vessel operators to cut GHG emissions and offering a sustainable route to decarbonisation by 2050.
In October 2022, analysis by a team at the Nanyang Technological University’s Maritime Energy and Sustainable Development Centre of Excellence (MESD) which asked practical questions about bio-LNG emissions, availability and cost showed a huge global potential for the expansion of biomethane production of up to 20 times current production levels by 2050. Accounting for demand for other sectors, MESD forecast that bio-LNG as a marine fuel could be available in sufficient quantity to fully decarbonise approximately 13% of the global shipping fleet in 2050.
Commenting on the update to Bunker Navigator, Adi Aggarwal, General Manager of SEA-LNG said: “The fact that bio-LNG is commercially available now and being used as a drop-in marine fuel by operators in Europe, North America and Asia, demonstrates the sustained contribution that the LNG pathway can make to decarbonising our industry, starting today. Climate change is a stock and flow problem, the longer our industry waits to start using low-carbon fuels, the tougher the decarbonisation challenge will be.”
More information on the bunkering availability of LNG, bio-LNG and e-LNG, and the development of LNG bunkering infrastructure worldwide can be found at SEA-LNG’s bunker navigator tool. The Maritime Energy and Sustainable Development Centre of Excellence’s report on the role of bio-LNG in shipping industry decarbonisation is also available online. SEA-LNG has also produced a bio-LNG fact sheet that addresses myths and misconceptions about the fuel.