Class Society ‘Takes a Broad View on the Cost of Safety and Sustainability’
Affordability, sustainability and safety are addressed as key considerations in a new position paper from DNG GL for marine operators pondering a shift to alternative fuels.
“Over the next few decades it is likely that the energy mix for shipping will be characterized by a much higher degree of diversification than today,” states The Fuel Trilemma: Next Generation of Marine Fuels. “Natural gas will soon be an established fuel type, while liquid biofuels could gradually replace fossil-based fuels, provided that sustainable production is achieved.”
Electricity from the grid, methanol and hydrogen also have their place for certain geographic areas and ship types, DNV GL says.
‘The Ultimate Affordability of Change’
“Trends in pricing are an obvious factor,” the classification society says, “but sustainability and safety also have an impact on the ultimate affordability of change.”
“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,” DNV GL senior researcher Christos Chryssakis said in an announcement about the 40-page Trilemma report.
“However, safety and sustainability have an impact on affordability,” he said. “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,” Chryssakis says. “Even well-known solutions such as LNG involve considerable ship design and equipment changes to ensure safe operation.”
DNV GL notes that there are external risks to be considered too, as “a major accident could turn regulators and the general public against an otherwise promising fuel option.”
“DNV GL advocates that the risks are manageable,” says Chryssakis. “One of the premises is that safety should head the agenda from the very beginning of a ship design project.”
The new position paper analyses affordability, sustainability, safety and reliability and includes case studies involving LNG, shore-based electricity, biofuels (including pyrolysis oil and biomethanol) and hydrogen.Click here to purchase a premium subscription.
Source: DNV GL with HHP Insight follow-up