The shipping industry must reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50% by 2050. To achieve this goal, ships must stop using fuel oil. Therefore, which kind of fuel can be used by ships in the future has become a big problem for the shipping industry. Roger Holm, President of Wartsila marine power, a Finnish technology group, said the company would choose new fuels for testing in the next three years.
"We are looking at all the fuel options that are available on the market, after which we will test and validate them in different ways. Now we have begun to test new fuels. " Roger Holm said. Wartsila has considerable experience in biofuels, the company has also examined and confirmed the possibility of mixing hydrogen with LNG, and ammonia is also within its testing scope.
Dual fuel engine technology ready
Wartsila has developed dual fuel engines for many years. At present, such engines have the flexibility and ability to switch to LNG, biofuels and other alternative fuels. "Engine technology has been able to meet the needs of flexible fuel selection, we just need to make sure that we keep up with the industry trend," said Roger Holm. Now, you don't have to install a new engine. That's the beauty of a dual fuel engine. It's difficult for everyone in the shipping industry to predict the type of fuel to use in the future and when to make changes. "
Roger Holm also pointed out that, despite the time constraints of suppliers, it still takes time to bring a new technology to market. "Because of the ship's life cycle and fuelling infrastructure, any change in fuel use in the shipping industry will take a long time. We need to keep in mind that there is a huge difference between saying that a certain fuel can be used in an engine and that a certain fuel has been widely used in the industry. The development of engine technology is not a factor limiting the conversion of marine fuel oil. "
Existing emission reduction schemes
Although carbon and fuel are hot topics in the shipping industry, there are obviously other ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but shipping companies have not yet adopted them.
Roger Holm said that if shipowners or operators can use data to improve ship navigation efficiency, they can save a lot of money. For example, adjust the use of fuel oil and control the waiting time when sailing between different ports.
In addition, the navigation route should be planned to reduce waiting time in the port. In this case, no matter what kind of fuel is used, emissions can be reduced and costs can be saved, but this requires the cooperation of the whole value chain.
Who will be the preferred alternative fuel in the future?
At present, the industry is optimistic about alternative fuel options, including LNG, methanol, hydrogen, ammonia, biofuels, etc.
LNG is a relatively widely used alternative fuel for ships at present. The number of ships using LNG as ship fuel or having the ability to use LNG power is far more than those using other alternative fuels.
However, at present, the infrastructure of LNG filling is relatively limited, the cost of new LNG power ship and refitting LNG power are relatively high, and LNG is still fossil fuel in nature. Although it can meet the requirements of sulfur limitation laws and regulations, its carbon emission reduction effect has been criticized by environmental protection agencies. Many people in the industry believe that LNG can be used as a transitional scheme. Bjorn hojgaard, chairman of the Hong Kong Shipowners' Association, pointed out that LNG should not be the mainstream choice until LNG filling is all over the world and the price of dual fuel engines has dropped significantly.