Establishing an LNG fuel infrastructure becomes paradoxical: It is difficult to build LNG-powered vessels when there isn’t an established LNG infrastructure, but infrastructure is not needed without the vessel demand. The LNG supply chain could be disrupted by using a different method of storing fuel onboard the vessel.
Recently, there has been a revolution in the LNG shipping industry with the development of LNG International Standard for Organization (ISO) containers. In theory, if a ship were to be carrying LNG fuel within containers, it could “refuel” wherever a semi-truck and crane could reach the vessel. There are good towboat candidates in the inland river fleet for an LNG conversion. As the International Maritime Organization and Environmental Protection Agency increase regulatory pressure on vessels to minimize their greenhouse gas emissions, owners are looking for different ways to comply with these new requirements.
Nick Hunter, P.E., Naval Architect and Marine Engineer at NETSCo explored the use of LNG fuels on existing long-haul towboats with LNG ISO containers in a recent article published by Marine Technology, “Key Ingredients for a Successful LNG Towboat Conversion”.
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