The shipping industry is continuing its adoption of LNG fuelled propulsion as the current leader within the alternative fuel sector for new builds. According to the latest update from DNV in its Alternative Fuel Insight report, nine additional LNG fuelled vessels were ordered in July pushing the total orderbook above 500 vessels by 2028, which is approaching nearly two times the fleet of in-service LNG fuelled vessels.
DNV reports that there are currently 313 in-service vessels operating on LNG, mostly with dual-fuel engines. The number has grown rapidly over the last eight years compared for example to 2014 when there were just 50 LNG fuelled vessels in service. The segment currently with the greater number of LNG vessels in-service is passenger ships and car ferries although the numbers are quickly rising for containerships, tankers, and offshore supply vessels.
In addition, there are a further 229 vessels currently in service that are considered to be LNG ready. Large operators have been slow to undertake conversions, in part waiting for the cost required for the conversion to decline to improve the economics of refitting the ships. Hapag-Lloyd completed in 2021 the first conversion of a containership that had been built LNG-ready and recently MAN confirmed that it has been contracted by Matson to undertake the refit of the first of line’s LNG ready containerships.
“Although the growth in orders has slowed down somewhat in line with the general newbuild ordering activity, there are several large orders in the pipeline,” said Martin Wold, DNV’s Principal Consultant for Alternative Fuels. Responding to comments on social media, Wold points out that there will be “lots of additional orders for LNG fuelled ships for 2025 delivery and beyond.”
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