Giant LNG powered container ships carrying 20,000 containers are here and the prospect of more signals an unleashing of the power of the shale revolution.
There’s big stuff happening on the seas. One of our readers just sent me a wonderful story in gCaptain about some giant LNG powered container ships that are now hitting the seas, with more expected. He says “it will be very interesting to see how LNG systems are set up to provide refueling services, and where those services will be located. As the LNG refueling infrastructure grows, there will be incentives for more LNG-powered ships due to the recent change in regulations about emissions from ship propulsion.”
The implications are clear; there will be far fewer CO2 emissions involved in shipping each container and we’ll see the gradual introduction of a LNG fueling infrastructure that will make LNG the standard fuel used on the seas.
Here is the latest news on the trend toward giant LNG powered container ships:
As a matter of reference, TEU stands for Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit, which is the standard way of defining the capacity of a container ship:
Depending on whether the ship loads twenty or forty foot containers (or a combination of the two), the number of containers held on board the ship will differ. As to express the capacity of a container ship in a uniform manner, the number of containers that the ship can load is converted into a number of containers of the smallest size, i.e. those that are twenty feet in length.
A 23,000 TEI ship, therefore, is akin to a floating warehouse of 3.4 million square feet or just shy of 26.8 million cubic feet of container storage space. Just amazing, but the important part, of course, is the LNG power, which serves to meet new environmental regulations. Here’s the key point, though:
At the same time the expansion in bunkering infrastructure in both China and Europe means that LNG is becoming a viable solution for container vessels, lowering costs and ensuring compliance with incoming regulations.”
LNG powered container ships are both better environmentally (because LNG produces less CO2 than oil) and lower costs. Its a double win and as LNG powered container ships take over the market, there will be a need for refueling also available for other big ships. Everything is changing as a result of the shale revolution — changing for the better. Susquehanna County natural gas will be soon be used to deliver goods back and forth to China.