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Ship Orders Slump 50% With Owners Unsure Which Green Fuel to Use

Ship Orders Slump 50% With Owners Unsure Which Green Fuel to Use

By Elizabeth Low and Jack Wittels: 8 January 2021, 09:00 GMT

  • LNG, ammonia and hydrogen among alternative fuel contenders
  • Orders at lowest in at least two decades in 2020: IHS Markit

Article Extracts

Ship owners facing looming deadlines to use less-polluting fuels have slashed the number of new vessels on order because they don’t know which alternative technology to switch to.

Ammonia, hydrogen, biofuels and electrification are some of the many contenders to power the world’s future merchant fleet, but most are only in the trial stage and won’t be scalable for at least a decade. With the life of a commercial ship averaging around 20 years, opting for a technology that doesn’t take off could be very costly.

LNG is a lead contender for a transition fuel on the way to full decarbonization, just as it is in electricity generation. Royal Dutch Shell Plc is set to charter 40 dual-fuel barges for use on the Rhine river that can run on it.

While the gas is still a fossil fuel, it’s CO2 emissions are lower than conventional marine fuel and it’s readily available. LNG-fueled ships already make up 8% of new vessel orders, said Krispen Atkinson, a principal consultant at IHS Markit.

— With assistance by Sanjit Das


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