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DNV GL paper presents alternative fuels evaluation

LNG Industry,

DNV GL has released a position paper that presents a methodology for evaluating alternative fuels, taking sustainability and safety into consideration, as well as trends in pricing.

The paper, ‘The Fuel Trilemma: Next Generation of Marine Fuels’, considers the rapidly diversifying fuel market from the position of affordability, sustainability and safety. These factors will govern the importance of any energy source chosen to meet regulatory requirements for CO2, SOx and NOx emissions.

LNG option

The diversity of fuel options has seen LNG becoming well established and opened some potential for biofuels to gradually replace fossil fuels.

Christos Chryssakis, Senior Researcher at DNV GL, noted: “In all cases, the cost associated with machinery, as well as the expected fuel price, will play a dominant role for shipowners as they make changes to their fleet. However, safety and sustainability have an impact on affordability. Sustainability, assessed from a lifecycle perspective, will determine the availability of various fuels in the future, and could constrain the energy mix locally or globally.


“Novel design solutions may introduce a level of complexity that affects newbuilding costs and operational reliability. Even well-known solutions such as LNG involve considerable ship design and equipment changes to ensure safe operation.”

However, DNV GL notes that there are external risks to be considered. A major accident could turn regulators and the general public against an otherwise promising fuel option. “DNV GL advocates that the risks are manageable. One of the premises is that safety should head the agenda from the very beginning of a ship design project,” Chryssakis added.

The position paper analyses affordability, sustainability, safety and reliability and includes case studies involving LNG, electricity, biofuels and hydrogen.

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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