Over 90% of the world’s trade is carried by sea and it is by far the most cost effective way to transport goods and materials around the world.
The maritime transport industry is essential to the world’s economy and is overseen by the United Nations regulatory agency; The International Maritime Organization (IMO) who are responsible for shipping regulation.
With over fifty thousand merchant ships trading internationally the IMO has a major role to play in the safety and security of shipping and in the reduction of marine pollution by ships.
The IMO has made a landmark decision that by 1 January 2020 a global sulphur cap of 0.50% m/m will be in place. This is a considerable reduction in sulphur as the current limit is 3.5% m/m. This reflects the IMO’s commitment to ensure that international shipping remains the most environmentally friendly way to transport goods.
Ships can meet the regulations by using low sulphur compliant fuel oil. Another method that an increasing number of ships are using is the use of gas as a fuel which produces negligible sulphur oxide emissions.
LNG as a fuel has many advantages as it is a clear, colourless and non-toxic liquid which is formed when natural gas is cooled to -162’C (-260F). In its liquid sate LNG will not ignite and is 600 times less in volume which makes it easier and more cost effective to store in its liquid state.