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LR Port Survey: 24% of Bunkers will be LNG by 2025

By 2025, ports anticipate that 24 percent of the bunkers supplied will be liquefied natural gas (LNG), a survey by Lloyd's Register (LR) found.

The Lloyd's Register LNG Bunker Infrastructural Survey 2014 assessed 22 ports, mainly in the North American and European Emissions Control Areas (ECAs).

The survey found 59 percent of the ports have specific plans for LNG bunkering infrastructure, and 76 percent anticipate beginning LNG bunkering within five years.

In the short term, most of the ports plan to use third-party specialist suppliers to provide LNG bunkers from trucks or barges, but 47 percent plan to have dedicated LNG storage capability for bunkering in the longer term.

A strong majority or the ports, 86 percent, say deep sea ships are likely to start demanding LNG within three to 10 years.

"Global ports are gearing up for a gas fuelled future for shipping," said Latifat Ajala, LR's senior market analyst.

"Traditional bunkering ports will need to be able to offer gas just as they offer the traditional choice of fuel oil or distillates today."

LR Global Marketing Manger Luis Benito added that the challenge for the uptake of LNG bunkers will be availability of the fuel at a competitive price.

"Will gas markets provide fuel that shipowners will buy?" he asked.

"We believe that ports can make LNG available safely – but at what price?

"That's what everybody wants to know."

Nick Brown, LR's marine communications manager, recently wrote that the first order for anLNG-fuelled deep-sea vessel could come soon.