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Large shipping companies have been observed to adopt LNG bunkering. For instance, as per Carnival Corporation & plc, AIDA Cruises will start LNG bunkering operations for AIDAperla when it is docked at Civitavecchia, Marseille, and Barcelona ports. Carnival had said in June that AIDA Cruises was getting ready for what it says the Mediterranean’s first LNG supply operation for a cruise ship.
Global LNG Bunkering Market Receives Shot in Arm with New Future Limits Set for Sulfur Emissions from Vessels
As of today, there are only 45 vessels that engage LNG as a bunker fuel on the global platform, where most of them operate in the inland waterways of Northern Europe. However, LNG bunkering has been heavily promoted through substantial investments made by port authorities in the region. For instance, Norway is making massive investments in the advancement of LNG bunkering terminals at main trading ports. The presence of a multitude of small-size LNG production units in the country allows uncomplicated distribution of the natural gas to bunker terminals.
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However, the LNG adoption is currently limited to offshore passenger ships and support vessels, despite environmental and economic benefits. The growth of the global LNG bunkering market could be challenged by immature infrastructure for the management of LNG bunkering in chief ports of the world. Nonetheless, the adoption of LNG bunkering is envisaged to be improved with the initiation of projects underway for the enhancement of LNG refueling infrastructure in major ports across the globe. Sources also say that LNG bunkering could be adopted in the mainstream marine sector. Additionally, the development of the market is projected to be encouraged by stringent emission compliance regulations and the advent of policy-based support network.
Europe Rides on Initial Adopters of LNG as Bunker Fuel to Top Market Share
The international LNG bunkering market is forecast to witness the lead to be secured by Europe in the near future. The region accommodates offshore support vessels and inland ferries as some of the early adopters of LNG as a bunker fuel. In order to examine the feasibility of the extension of LNG bunkering capabilities in the region, a number of pre-investment studies have been conducted in major ports.
North America could be another region with worthwhile growth opportunities in the international LNG bunkering market. It witnesses effective compliance with sulfur emission standards for marine vessels. LNG fueled vessels could receive ample of investments from shipping companies as they get attracted to the economic prices of natural gas in comparison with those of diesel and fuel oil. LNG bunkering services could achieve a significant limelight in the region due to the effect of the shale gas boom acting as a key development encouraging gas distribution firms to make more investments.
In the present time, ferries and offshore support vessels (OSVs) are researched to hold a colossal share in the worldwide LNG bunkering market on the basis of consumption. Until the end of 2020, these segments could continue to take the lead in the market. Existing European ports have been equipped with LNG bunkering facilities to fulfill the fuel requirements of ferries and OSVs. After the enforcement of stringent sulfur emission regulations, scores of deep-sea ships such as containers and tankers have been using LNG bunker fuel in Asia Pacific.