(EnergyAsia, October 25 2012, Thursday) — Norwegian classification and inspection firm Det Norske Veritas (DNV) said it has teamed up with nine

Australian companies to conduct a four-month study into the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a shipping fuel to protect the environment.

Similar to a pioneering study launched in Singapore in 2010, the Australian Joint Industry Project (JIP) will investigate the possibility and viability of adopting LNG as a shipping fuel in local waters.

DNV said the use of LNG as a marine fuel will help eliminate sulphur oxide (SOx) and particulate matter emissions, nets a 15% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) emissions and diminishes that of nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 85-90%. DNV said: “The study aims to cover the infrastructure and regulatory requirements as well as the potential benefits and risks faced by energy majors, ports and ship-owners considering LNG fuelled vessels. The study concentrates on LNG fuelled OSVs and tugs plying in Australian waters, but the key recommendations developed will be valid for most ship types. “Geographically, focus will be on the ports of Dampier, Darwin and Melbourne.”

DNV is project manager as well as joint sponsor along with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), BOC Limited (Linde Group), Farstad Shipping Pty Ltd, Ports Australia, Rolls-Royce Marine AS, SVITZER Australia, Swire Pacific Offshore Operations (Pte) Ltd, Teekay Shipping (Australia) Pty Ltd and Woodside Energy Ltd.

The study will identify the main obstacles to promoting LNG-fuelled shipping, initially focusing on infrastructure and existing regulations. Safety is a primary concern as ports will face the challenge of offering safe storage and ship-specific bunkering of LNG.

The study will include an assessment of the regulatory framework and identify the infrastructure needed for LNG bunkering at the Federal and state levels. By the end of this year, the team will aim to complete an overview of the project’s legal and infrastructural challenges as well as opportunities for LNG bunkering in Australia.

Sanjay Kuttan, managing director of DNV’s Clean Technology Centre (CTC), said:

“The convergence of availability of gas, innovative technologies, progressive regulatory measures and visionary leadership will make LNG a major cleaner energy source for power generation, land and sea transportation, petrochemical feedstock and domestic gas a reality in the near future. The team at DNV CTC is honoured to be part of this momentum to fulfil DNV’s purpose in safeguarding life, property and the environment.”