Earlier this month, DEME Offshore announced in a LinkedIn post that its cable ship, named Living Stone, bunkered for the first time with liquefied natural gas (LNG) and then successfully completing her LNG sea trials.  There is now a major push towards to cleaner maritime fuels and cable ships are moving to the forefront, particularly in the offshore wind arena. 

Coincidentally, a webinar was held shortly after this announcement as part of the Rhode Island Commerce Supply Chain Series entitled “Future of Wind Farm Vessel Propulsion.”  Rhode Island Commerce is the economic development organization for the state of Rhode Island.  As Rhode Island also happens to be the first state in the United States to successfully put turbines in the water, a webinar on this topic is particularly appropriate. 

Speaking at the webinar was Greg Beers, President of the Bristol Harbor Group in Bristol, Rhode Island.  Bristol Harbor Group is a naval architecture and engineering firm that worked on the first LNG bunker barge built in North America, the Clean Jacksonville. 

Greg spoke about the current status and future hopes for LNG as a marine fuel.  He said, “LNG is a critical part of the supply chain with the focus of reducing the environmental impact of the marine industry.  It is the advanced fuel that is here today and will be an important part of reducing environmental impact over the course of the next decade.” 

He noted the following advantages of LNG over diesel fuel for ships:

  • Safe – Proven by years of demonstrated safe marine operations
  • Clean – Meets and exceeds new North American ECA standards
  • Available – Estimates show an almost unlimited North American supply
  • Cost Effective – Significantly less than diesels fuel options

He also noted that LNG needs significant investments in infrastructure, including waterfront liquefaction facilities, LNG transport barges that enable remote waterfront LNG refueling facilities and bunker barges that facilitate LNG refueling simultaneously with cargo loading or unloading operations.

SubCableWorld will have more about the topic of cleaner marine fuels and some of the perspectives presented by this webinar next week.  Stay tuned.