Gaseous fuels 'the only way forward': MAN CSO

'Infrastructure will follow in due course,' says Wayne Jones.

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Updated on 17 Oct 2018 15:23 GMT

Gaseous fuels are 'the only way forward' for shipping vessels beyond 2020, according to Wayne Jones, Chief Sales Officer (CSO) and Member of the Executive Board at MAN Energy Solutions.

Speaking at the fourth annual Naftemporiki Shipping Conference, held in Athens on October 3, Jones participated in a panel discussion covering decarbonisation, the latest fuels introduced to the market, and the impact of the upcoming IMO regulations limiting fuel sulphur content to 0.5 percent in 2020.

"From the engine-maker's point of view, one of the biggest challenges is to reach agreement on which fuel to use, one that will meet not only the regulations of today, but those of tomorrow. What will everyone use in the future, or will there be a myriad of fuels? For me, the only way forward is to go with gaseous fuels - and the infrastructure will follow in due course," he remarked.

Discussing the company's suppport for LNG and its October 2017 pledge to convert 10 HFO engines into gas engines as part of its drive to find clean solutions for seaborne trade and transportation, Jones said: "MAN Energy Solutions believes fully in its technology, to the extent that we pledge to subsidise the first 10 shipowners that convert their engines to LNG or a gas-derived fuel - up to a cumulative total of EUR 2 million - because I think someone has to stimulate the industry to think more holistically and long-term."

Jones' remarks tie in with MAN Energy Solutions' belief that it is time for what it calls a 'Maritime Energy Transition' to find clean, decarbonised solutions for seaborne trade and transportation.

Launched in 2016 after COP 21, the Maritime Energy Transition initiative is a call to action to reduce emissions and establish natural gas as the fuel of choice in global shipping. It is also an umbrella covering all MAN Energy Solutions' activities in regard to supporting climate-neutral shipping, including:

- The retrofitting of the 'Wes Amelie' feeder containership's MAN 51/60DF engine to dual-fuel gas operation - the first such conversion of its type in the world;

- The development of MAN Energy Solutions' two-stroke ME-GI/ME-LGI engine portfolio to enable dual-fuel operation on, primarily, natural gas but also on alternative gaseous and liquid fuels such as LNG, methane, ethane, methanol and ethanol;

- The development of synthetic fuels created with renewable energy (i.e. power-to-gas) - another technology the company considers to have great CO2-reduction potential. Here, MAN Energy Solutions is closely collaborating with Germany's Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy to create a research programme.

Additionally, under the brand MAN Cryo (formerly Cryo AB), purchased in 2015, the company offers systems for the storage, distribution and handling of liquefied gases.