Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) have released a report that outlines how companies can use alternative fuels to power ships to help meet IMO’s 2050 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target
The report, Alternative Fuels for International Shipping, covers the technological, environmental and economic considerations for adopting alternative fuels. It evaluates the characteristics of four fuels: LNG, methanol, biodiesel and hydrogen, and outlines ways to incorporate them into existing ship systems.
The report also provides information on fuel performance and the technologies and infrastructure required to process and store them, such as energy converters and fuel storage platforms for liquid fuels at both ambient temperatures and cryogenic temperatures.
The report’s author, NTU Maritime Energy & Sustainable Development (MESD) division research lead Dr Prapisala Thepsithar said “to date, worldwide research and development have been focusing on the technology for alternative fuel applications on board ships".
“The aim of our study is to help shipping companies better understand alternative fuel technologies and how they can be incorporated into the overall value-chain,” he said.
The study also maps out potential pathways to increasingly use alternative fuels in the energy mix, giving realistic timelines and methods to overcome technological barriers to reduce overall GHG emissions.
The study provides short, medium and long-term measures for shipping companies to overcome challenges in incorporating alternative fuels into their value chain.
MPA chief sustainability officer Er Tham Wai Wah said “Singapore supports the IMO 2050 ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping,” adding that MPA “recognise that maritime Singapore research partners play an important role in providing insights into the viable options for our industry to meet these goals. Through this report, we hope shipping companies will gain better clarity of the various fuel options available and find suitable fuel diversification solutions”.
Singapore’s energy regulator has partnered with private enterprise to fund ideas for clean energy, and alternative fuels continue to gain traction in the industry as several companies sign on to trial biofuels, including Stena Bulk in March 2020.
The NTU and SMI report is available here.