LNG-Powered Container Ship Bunkers With Renewable-Linked Natural Gas

Image courtesy JAXPORT

Published Sep 23, 2021 7:34 PM by The Maritime Executive

JAX-LNG, the bunker supplier for the LNG-powered boxship Isla Bella, reports that it recently filled her tanks with a supply of fuel that was financially linked to renewable natural gas.

In partnership with vessel operator TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico and renewable-gas trading house Element Markets, JAX-LNG acquired renewable thermal certificates (RTCs) and matched them to the physical LNG that was loaded onto the ship. According to the partners, this resulted in a blend of renewable LNG (RLNG) and conventional LNG.

A renewable thermal certificate is a standardized credit representing the production of renewable natural gas. To create an RTC, a producer makes biogas from organic waste; refines it into renewable natural gas (RNG); supplies the RNG to a nearby pipeline network; and receives a certificate validating the production. The certificate can be traded and verified on a marketplace, much like a carbon credit, without moving the physical gas. 

"We’re proud to partner with JAX LNG, which has continued to solidify its position as the industry leader in the clean fuel revolution,” said Mike Noone, President of TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico. “RNG is a clean, drop-in fuel source that can be readily deployed for use today, since it needs no new equipment to capture or transport it.”

In 2014, a landmark federal study estimated that U.S. biogas production could reach as much as 650 billion cubic feet per year - about two percent of America's conventional natural gas output. The estimate focused on easy-to-capture sources of biogas, like landfills, sewage plants and dairies, and the resource base could grow as the industry expands, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The International Energy Agency estimates that RNG has the potential to supply as much as five percent of the North American gas grid by 2040.