DNV Predicts a Strong Future for LNG-Fueled Ships

Sovcomflot tanker and bunkering tanker
File image courtesy Sovcomflot

Published Dec 6, 2022 9:16 PM by The Maritime Executive

The advisory division of leading class society DNV Maritime sees good times ahead for LNG dual-fuel vessels, even if today's high gas prices support fuel-switching to VLSFO.

More than 200 LNG-fueled ships have been ordered over the course of the year to date, including 17 in November alone, according to DNV Principal Consultant Martin Wold. Within three years, the number of LNG-fueled ships afloat will increase from 340 hulls today to more than 800 vessels, DNV predicts, and most of the new deliveries will be big vessels like container ships and PCTCs. 

This new dual-fuel tonnage will eventually run on LNG, once prices for gas normalize, and Wold's office has previously predicted that liquefied natural gas could account for three percent of all bunker volume by 2025. 

"Simple extrapolation will tell you that a share of 10 percent in the global . . . bunker market by 2030 is well within reach," Wold suggested in a blog post earlier this year. 

However, alternative fuels like green methanol will be increasingly competitive now that the EU plans to tax greenhouse gas emissions from shipping - including emissions of methane, a pollutant released in varying quantities by LNG-fueled ships. 

“With the preliminary agreement at the EU last week that shipping will be included in EU ETS starting from 2024, all low-carbon options now make even more sense," Wold said in a research note on Monday. "Methane emissions will also be included, so methane slip from engines will come under even greater scrutiny."