First-of-a-kind study to develop advice on mitigating methane emissions from LNG shipping
With natural gas a central part of Europe’s clean energy transition, methane emissions from the LNG supply chain are coming under increasing scrutiny. Emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas (GHG) some 28 times more potent than CO2, must be reduced for Europe to realise its ambitions as laid out in the European Green Deal.
Working with academia, the LNG industry is now undertaking a first-of-a-kind study to measure methane emissions from LNG carriers. Up to this point, there has been no real data on actual methane emissions from LNG shipping.
“You can’t manage it until you measure it,” declares SIGTTO general manager Andrew Clifton. Speaking at Riviera’s LNG Ship/Shore Interface Conference in November, Mr Clifton said: “The credibility of natural gas and its role in decarbonising energy systems hinges on demonstrating transparency and reductions in methane emissions across the global gas supply chain.”
Under the project, SIGTTO will collaborate with the Sustainable Gas Institute of the Imperial College of London, National Physical Laboratory and Spanish energy company Enagas. Together, they will measure methane emissions on LNG carriers, model the key factors and variations in emissions and determine minimisation targets via the most cost-effective emissions reduction solutions.
“The project will be complex, but absolutely necessary”
With some 620-odd ships in service with various cargo containment systems, propulsion types, sizes, ages and operational conditions, Mr Clifton points out that the project will be complex, but absolutely necessary. “This is not going away,” he says. “There is no such thing as a minor methane emission,” pointing out that any small emission “negates any environmental advantages of natural gas.”
To be effective the study will examine as many LNG carrier types as possible, with actual measurements being taken onboard ship from potential sources of methane emissions and in various operational scenarios. The study will be conducted using readily available hand-held measuring devices and bespoke equipment. Data on fugitive, accidental and operational emissions, as well as methane slip, will be collected and analysed.
An initial pilot study on two ships is expected to run over 18 months.
Ultimately, the goal is to gather real data on methane emissions from LNG carriers and provide advice to shipowners on cost-effective methods to mitigate those emissions.
“The credibility of the LNG industry depends on it,” says Mr Clifton.
Riviera will host a series of 45-minute webinars on subjects ranging from maritime propulsion to vessel optimisation, ballast water management, maritime air pollution and maritime leaders among many others commencing 5 May 2020. Find a list of the webinars and register your interest now
|Key elements in determining methane emissions from LNG carriers|
|Emission sources||Operations||Key parameters|
|Exhausts||Cargo journey||Vessel size|
|Vents from fuel delivery system||Ballast journey||Vessel age|
|Vents from storage tanks||Port travel||Vessel drive train|
|Vent from BOM||Deep-sea travel||LNG containment type|
|Fugitives from across all equipment/processes||Vessel loading/unloading||Re-liquefaction/BOM design|
|Gas free operations||Journey length|
|Warm-up operations||Full journey operational profile|
|Purging operation||Storage/delivery oper. Pressures and temps|
|Cargo venting operations||Port loading/unloading mechanisms|
|Over pressure safety valve release||Weather/ambient conditions|
|Source: SIGTTO, LNG carriers methane emissions|