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LNG, fuel of the future for ships, transport minister says

John Fredriksen is an oil and shipping tycoon

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is the fuel of the future for ships, Transport Minister Marios Demetriades said on Friday.

In his address at the conference LNG Fuelling the Future of the Eastern Mediterranean, that took place in the coastal town of Limassol, Demetriades said that until recently, reference to LNG for shipping was only viewed as cargo on ships intended for use on land.

“Now we can confidently speak about LNG as the fuel of the future for ships as well”.

He pointed out the importance that the European Union places on the promotion and use of LNG as main fuel for the shipping industry, as well as the development of LNG bunkering infrastructure, noting that this is evident by EU’s co-financing the POSEIDON MED II project.

“LNG is a potential solution for meeting the environmental requirement as its cleaner burning meets all current and future emission standards,” he said.

However, Demetriades noted that LNG as a bunker fuel faces a number of challenges, which, among others, include the lack of bunkering facilities, the investment required in ships propulsion and fuel handling systems, the potential loss of cargo space on some types of ships due to space required for the LNG tanks, and the implementation of comprehensive, efficient and uniform safety regulations.

Despite the challenges, the minister said, the LNG as a ship fuel has great potential as fuel of choice for the future.

He said feasibility studies related to the LNG as an alternative fuel for shipping are valuable and bring together top experts from the marine, energy and financial sectors to design an integrated LNG value chain and establish a well-functioning and sustainable LNG market essential.

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