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RasGas to convert more vessels to LNG

LNG Industry,

RasGas plans to convert 13 of its diesel-fuelled energy carriers into vessels powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

From January 2015, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will regulate maritime transport’s emission rate. The new regulations to cut the emission rate of ships will force ship owners to convert their vessels to use LNG fuel.

RasGas currently has a fleet of 27 LNG carriers including:

  • 14 conventional carriers
  • 12 Q-Flex carriers
  • One Q-Max carrier

While the conventional carriers are already powered by steam plants, RasGas is planning to convert its Q-Flex and Q-Max vessels to use the cleaner fuel. Currently, these 13 vessels are powered by diesel engines, which can only use heavy fuel or marine gas oil.

According to a report published in the company’s in-house journal: “A prototype will be soon be tested and, if the results are positive, RasGas management will decide whether to convert all the Q-Flex and Q-Max vessels”.

IMO rules require a cut in sulphur dioxide emissions by January 2015 to 0.1% in special emission control area (ECA) zones, including the Baltic and North Seas, and North American and Canadian Coastal waters by January 2015, and worldwide to 3.5%. Thousands of ships will be affected by the new regulations, and a global sulphur content limit of 0.5% could be in place by 2020.

LNG’s environmental benefits include virtually zero sulphur oxide emissions, and reductions of up to 95% for nitrogen oxides emissions and 20% for carbon dioxide emissions when compared with conventional shipping fuels. According to RasGas report, on current estimates approximately 90 000 vessels could convert to LNG.

Edited from various sources by Katie Woodward

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