The Norwegian shipping company, Fjord Line, has two new LNG cruise ferries under construction. The company states that the first of these vessels, MS Stavangerfjord, will be the first and largest cruise ferry in the world powered by solely by LNG when it goes into operation in 2013 (existing LNG ships are dual fuel). “In this way Fjord Line will meet the new, stricter standards for sulfur content in fuels long before the deadline in 2015,” says CEO Ingvald Fardal. When both vessels are in service, Fjord Line states that they will be offering “the ‘greenest’ sea routes between Norway and the EU.” Powering the ships with natural gas will extend the construction period. “However, going with natural gas from day one will mean we can avoid taking the ships out of operation for three months when the new emission standards come in force in 2015,” says Fardal.
Fardal pointed out that, beginning in 2015:
- Sulfur emissions from shipping in Northern Europe cannot exceed 0.1 percent. LNG contains no sulfur and reduces CO2 emissions by 20–30 percent and emissions of NOx by around 90 percent compared to heavy fuel oil.
- The only alternatives to natural gas will be low sulfur diesel fuel (rather than heavy oil) or investing in expensive scrubbing technology.
He also said that LNG is expected to be the most cost-effective fuel in the future and delivers a much bigger environmental benefit than all the other alternatives.