SEA-LNG: Bio-LNG bunkering is available in almost 70 locations

By Jasmina Ovcina Mandra

Bio-LNG is available in almost seventy ports worldwide, including in Singapore, Rotterdam, and the US east coast, according to an analysis of the green LNG bunkering market published by SEA-LNG, a multi-sector industry coalition promoting LNG as a marine fuel.

The coalition added that bio-LNG used in the maritime industry is produced from sustainable biomass feedstocks such as human or agricultural waste, which means it does not compete with the production of food, fibre or fodder, as defined by regulations such as the EU’s RED II and the Renewable Fuel Standards in America.

Annual production of biomethane, from which bio-LNG is produced, is currently around 30m tonnes or around 10 percent of shipping’s total annual energy demand.

Bio-LNG offers a net-zero pathway for owners who have invested in LNG as a marine fuel to cut their emissions.

The current global fleet of 355 LNG-fuelled vessels, excluding LNG carriers, are all capable of using bio-LNG as drop-in fuel without any modification. Bio-LNG can also be transported, stored and bunkered in ports using the existing LNG infrastructure.

“The fact that bio-LNG is commercially available now and being used as a drop-in marine fuel by operators in Europe, North America and Asia, demonstrates the sustained contribution that the LNG pathway can make to decarbonising our industry, starting today. Climate change is a stock and flow problem, the longer our industry waits to start using low-carbon fuels, the tougher the decarbonisation challenge will be,” Adi Aggarwal, General Manager of SEA-LNG, said.

In general, the use of bio-LNG as a marine fuel can reduce GHG emissions by up to 80% compared to marine diesel on a full well-to-wake basis. Depending on the method of production, bio-LNG can have net-zero or even net-negative GHG emissions on a lifecycle basis, SEA-LNG said.

In October 2022, an analysis by a team at the Nanyang Technological University’s Maritime Energy and Sustainable Development Centre of Excellence (MESD) showed a huge global potential for the expansion of biomethane production of up to 20 times the current production levels by 2050.

Accounting for demand for other sectors, MESD forecasts that bio-LNG as a marine fuel could be available in sufficient quantity to fully decarbonise approximately 13% of the global shipping fleet in 2050.


Image: Wild Rose Leader with LNG bunkering ship Kaguya. Courtesy of Central LNG Marine Fuel Japan Corporation