Caution And Demand In The Alternative Fuels Market For Shipping

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The alternative fuels market for shipping is experiencing a mix of caution and demand. While fuel suppliers are hesitant to invest in new e-fuel projects due to uncertainties, there is growing interest in methanol and ammonia as future bunker fuels. This trend is evidenced by the increasing number of vessels designed to use these fuels and significant collaborations aimed at developing dual-fuel and ammonia-capable vessels.

Investment Caution Among Fuel Suppliers

A study by Transport & Environment (T&E) highlights that fuel suppliers are wary of committing to new e-fuel projects due to doubts about future demand from the shipping industry. Of the 61 synthetic fuel projects examined across the EU, 66% face potential delays or downsizing, posing risks to their operational timelines.

Rising Interest in Methanol and Ammonia

Despite supplier caution, the shipping industry is showing confidence in alternative fuels. Data from classification society DNV reveals a rise in the number of methanol-capable vessels, with 304 such ships expected by 2028. Additionally, there are 22 ammonia-capable vessels slated for delivery by 2027. Major projects, including designs from Wärtsilä and Samsung Heavy Industries, are advancing the development of ammonia-fueled ships.

Innovations in Marine Technology

The industry is also seeing advancements in carbon capture and wind-assisted propulsion. Greek firm ERMA FIRST is set to provide carbon capture systems for LCO2 carriers, using technology developed by UK-based Babcock. Meanwhile, Union Maritime will equip 34 new vessels with rigid sails from BAR Technologies, a move aimed at enhancing fuel efficiency through wind energy.

These developments indicate a cautious yet progressive shift towards alternative fuels and innovative technologies in the maritime sector.

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Source: ENGINE

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