Polar News

Study: Use LNG Bunkers in Arctic

In a recent study, Fuel Alternatives for Arctic Shipping, the World Wild Life Fund - Canada suggests that switching to liquid natural gas (LNG) for Arctic shipping operations could greatly reduce the risks that are associated with using heavy fuel oil (HFO).

The study, commissioned by WWF - Canada and conducted by Vard Marine Inc., comparatively assessed the environmental impacts of HFO, diesel, and LNG, as well as the ship design, fuel consumption, and the economic aspects associated with each of the three marine fuels. The study found that LNG created up to 97% less pollutants and 25% less greenhouse gas emissions in comparison to the other two fuels.

The study is said to have noted a significant reduction in the risk of environmental damage from spills with the use of LNG, "as LNG dissipates into the atmosphere almost immediately.”

Diesel fuel was also noted to have environmental advantages in comparison to HFO, but to a lesser extent than LNG.

While WWF - Canada admits there are some "technical and practical barriers" to the immediate adoption of LNG as the sole Arctic shipping fuel, the organization says it is hoping the International Marine Organization (IMO) will amend the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code) to support the growth and use of LNG for shipping in the Arctic.

In February, the International Council on Clean Transportation said that emissions from Arctic shipping are estimated to grow between 150 percent and 600 percent by 2025.

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