Project Forward in talks with Shell LNG to support next phase


This press release was published on September 26th, 2016 by ABS

Project Forward will work with energy major to investigate potential LNG supply options and requirements.

Athens, Greece, September 26, 2016. Project Forward and Shell have come together to discuss and investigate the options of supplying LNG-powered vessels and assess the bunker requirements for globally-trading bulk carriers, tankers and container vessels.

Led by Arista Shipping, an experienced bulk carrier owner and operator, and including the resources of ABS, Deltamarin, GTT and Wärtsilä, Project Forward has developed a technically feasible and commercially viable design for ocean going, deep sea vessels powered by LNG Fuel. The design is equally suitable for bulk carriers and tankers.

The widespread adoption of LNG in the marine sector has to overcome obstacles related to the bunkering infrastructure. Even though LNG import terminals are available at many ports, the barges and infrastructure needed to undertake the bunkering operations are still at an early stage of development.

“Merchant shipping is under increase pressure of tight emissions regulations from a range of sources and this will continue in future,” says Arista Shipping Principal Alexander P Panagopulos. “LNG as a Marine Fuel, is a cleaner burning fuel for shipping. It can help ship owners and operators to reduce sulphur emissions, particulates and nitrogen oxides.”

As a pioneer and a leader in the LNG industry, Shell is already taking important steps in preparing LNG bunkering infrastructure at different ports around the globe that will accelerate the widespread adoption of LNG as a marine fuel. One example is the Gas Access to Europe (Gate) LNG terminal in the Netherlands, where Shell gained access to import and break bulk capacity allowing the company to supply LNG to marine and road transport customers in northwest Europe.

The design of Project Forward ensures a very long sailing range on LNG, which can easily be adjusted to fit specific needs of each owner or trade pattern. As a result it could be sufficient for LNG-fuelled vessels to bunker LNG at major ports only. Arista Shipping feels the establishment of bunkering locations needs to be concentrated in these major ports and the development accelerated in order to cover the needs of an emerging and rapidly expanding demand.

Together, the Project Forward partners, all of which are highly experienced with LNG vessel operations and LNG as marine fuel, are working towards one common goal; making the launch of a first bulk carrier vessel with the innovative Project Forward design feasible within the next few years.

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Visualisation of Project Forward LNG-fueled bulk carrier.
Image credit: Deltamarin