LNG has long been viewed as a more environmentally sustainable way of fueling ships and a route to shipping reaching the IMO 2050 targets of reducing the carbon intensity of both individual ships, but also the industry as a whole.
Aida cruises already operates LNG cruise ships and there are currently three LNG-fuelled VLCCs on order, with 12 more known newbuilds being discussed.
However, the building of LNG or dual-fuelled VLCCs potentially results in more questions than that of conventional ships. The supply infrastructure for LNG is not as established world-wide as regular fuel infrastructure, although it is improving.
Further, the adaptation of ships to use LNG requires storage space on-board the vessel. Unless using on-deck tanks, this is likely to reduce cargo space.
When considering entering a charterparty agreement involving an LNG ship, charterers will need to ensure that their intended trading pattern actually enables the vessel to fuel. It may be that we start seeing additional clauses to reflect this issue.
But as more LNG ships are built, it is inevitable that the port infrastructure will increase with it.
Does LNG fuelling stack up as a viable option for VLCCs?