LNG has been branded as a “$22bn distraction for EU shipping” that will not decarbonise the sector in a new study carried out for NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) by UK-based consultancy UMAS.
The report claims LNG would deliver, at best, a 6% reduction in ship greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 compared to the replaced existing bunker fuel.
To date Europe has spent half a billion US dollars on LNG infrastructure for refuelling ships, the report calculates.
“These meagre emissions savings would likely be cancelled out by the growth of maritime trade, even before possibly higher rates of methane slip are considered,” the report states.
The EU’s 2014 Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive requires member states to build a comprehensive LNG infrastructure across European ports, something the authors of this new study – Domagoj Baresic and Dr Tristan Smith – claim will make the decarbonisation of shipping an even more challenging transition.
Faig Abbasov, shipping officer at T&E, said: “LNG is not a bridge fuel, it’s an expensive distraction that will make it harder for the EU to achieve its shipping climate goals and reduce gas imports from places like Russia. Europe should back future-proof technologies that would deliver the much greater emissions reductions that will be needed, including port-side charging or liquid hydrogen infrastructure. This means the EU needs to stop mandating LNG infrastructure in European ports.”
Both authors come from the UCL Energy Institute. Smith has written for Splash before. His February contribution describing LNG as a red herring in the ship fuel debate is one of the most read articles on this site this year.