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Containerships Plc backs non-carbon future with LNG as interim solution

Firm's current planning perspective for LNG is 25-30 years, during which time 'a significant change in technology' is expected.



Illustration of dual-fuel containership for Containerships Ltd Oy. Image credit: Containerships plc


Updated on 01 May 2018 13:51 GMT

Finland-based Containerships Plc explained on Tuesday that the use of alternative non-carbon fuels forms part of its propulsion plan for the future.

The declaration, contained in the company's newly released annual report, follows last month's historic accord by member states at the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) 72nd Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting, which agreed to reduce shipping greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 'at least' 50 percent on 2008 levels by 2050.

"[The] maritime industry is on a doorstep of a breakthrough of technological revolution. The existing fuel solutions are expected to be replaced by new, more sustainable applications. Containerships is highly motivated to continue on the more sustainable road, meaning that the use of alternative non-fossil fuels is part of the company's future fuel strategy," Containerships said.

As previously reported, Containerships has four new LNG dual-fuel container vessels under construction that are due to begin operating between the summer of 2018 and early 2019.

The company says its current planning perspective for LNG-fuelled vessels is 25-30 years, and that during this period it expects "a significant change in technology used in the maritime and logistics industry will take place".

Why LNG?

The boxship specialist explained that, when the Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) entered into force in northern Europe in January 2015 - effectively reducing the permitted fuel sulphur content to 0.1 percent - the company, together with its partners, decided to invest in five scrubbers, one of which was installed aboard Containerships' own vessel and four on partner vessels.

Containerships then began looking at several long-term solutions - electric power and alternative fuels such as LNG and biofuels - and selected LNG as the preferred solution for its newbuilds.

"LNG tackles all the known emission constraints as well as enables building a platform for the future with possible biofuels," Containerships stated.

Additionally, the company noted that its LNG strategy is designed to cover the entire supply chain - not only ships.

"Containerships' main business is to serve its customers in the whole door-to-door supply chain. Therefore, concentrating only on emissions generated during the sea leg is not feasible from the sustainability point of view. Containerships' LNG strategy does not only cover sea but also land transportation."

By the end of 2017, the company had 44 LNG or LNG dual-fuel trucks in operation, most of them in the UK, where the LNG refuelling infrastructure is widely developed. This number is set to be increased to 200 by 2020.

Containerships claims it will be the first firm in Europe to offer a fully LNG-enabled supply chain comprising trucks, vessels and refuelling stations, providing it with a first-mover advantage of "2-3 years".






Related Links:

Nissan 'enthusiastically supports' Containerships' LNG bunkering strategy
Containerships plc bunkered 78,900 mt in Baltics and Med last year
Containerships targets improved profitability via bunker-saving initiatives
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