LNG Bunkering Market Dynamics – Increasing Concerns Regarding Sulfur Emissions to Escalate Industry Demand

LNG Bunkering Market Dynamics - Increasing Concerns Regarding Sulfur Emissions to Escalate Industry Demand
The new legislation from the United Nations’ shipping agency has set new limits for sulfur emissions from vessels that would come into effect from 2020. LNG as a bunker fuel has the inherent properties to comply with environmental emission norms that are to come into effect in future. This is because it has negligible sulfur content and its combustion emits low NOx as compared to that produced by fuel oil and marine diesel oil.

A thorough overview and analysis of the global LNG bunkering fuel market has been featured in a market intelligence report published recently by Transparency Market Research (TMR).The report includes an analytical study of the market’s historical statistics to give insights into the growth trajectory showed by the global market for LNG bunkering in the past and predicts the market’s growth trajectory from 2014 through 2025. It states that the market, which had a valuation of 70 kilo tons in terms of capacity in 2013, will expand at a staggering 63.6% CAGR and rise to 22,540 kilo tons by 2025.The report is titled “LNG Bunkering Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast, 2014 – 2025” and can be found on the company website for sale.

Bunkering fuel is the fuel oil used by shipping companies for ship operations. The bunkering fuels that have been commonly used comprise heavy fuel grades such as IFO 380 and IFO 180. However, this trend is changing. With increasing sulfur emission legislations implemented by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), an increasing number of vessel owners are considering using liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a bunker fuel. Ship operators, especially in Europe and North America, are switching from heavy fuel oil to LNG fuel. Offshore support vessels, ferries, and passenger vessels are increasingly preferring the use of LNG as a bunker fuel on account of strict sulfur emission standards enforced in ECAs. 

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The global LNG bunkering market faces a few challenges such as the large bunker storage requirements in LNG fueled vessels resulting in a loss of cargo space. Fuel supplying companies have to spend a significant amount of capital on training crew members as LNG bunkering is still in the initial stages of development. In addition to this, LNG ships are only economical if ships spent maximum amount of time in ECAs. However, with increasing concerns regarding sulfur emissions and a possible declaration of new ECAs, the demand for LNG bunkering will increase in the future. 

Natural gas is one of the most commonly used fossil fuels for power generation across the globe and is touted to be the fuel of the 21st century owing to its cleaner nature as compared to other popular fossil fuels such as coal and oil. Natural gas is liquefied to make it more viable for transport and use with ease across several end-use applications.

When used as a fuel for ships, liquefied natural gas is known to bring down sulfur oxide emissions by as much as 90-95% as compared to traditional bunker fuels. This factor is expected to have a significant impact on the global bunkering fuel market, which is exploring new and better bunkering fuel options to comply with the increasingly strict regulations being imposed to cut down sulfur emissions in marine environments. As marine vessels spend most part of their voyage time in emission control zones (ECA), shipping companies are projected to adopt LNG as a safer and equally efficient fuel in the near future.

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For the ease of comprehension, the global LNG bunkering market has been segmented in the report on the basis of two criteria: end-user and geography.The key end users of LNG bunkering market examined in the report are container vessels, bulk and general cargo vessels, tanker vessels, and ferries and offshore support vessels (OSVs). Of these, the segment of ferries and offshore support vessels accounts for a dominant share in the global LNG bunkering market. Over the report’s forecast period, the segment of containers is projected to significantly aid the expansion of the global LNG bunkering market, primarily owing to the rising container traffic in Asia Pacific and Europe.

Based on geography, the market has been segmented into Europe, Asia Pacific, North America, and Rest of the World (RoW). Of these, Europe has emerged as the leading regional market for LNG bunkering industry due to the presence of a majority of LNG bunkering stations in the region. The LNG bunkering market in North America is projected to benefit from the continuously declining prices of natural gas in the region.

Some of the major vendors operating in the global LNG bunkering market profiled in the report are Harvey Gulf International Marine LLC., GDF SUEZ S.A, Skangass AS, Korea Gas Corporation, and Gasnor AS.

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