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  • Published In : Apr 2024
  • Code : CMI1085
  • Pages :104
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Energy

Market Size and Trends

The global LNG bunkering market is estimated to be valued at USD 1.24 Bn in 2024 and is expected to reach USD 7.91 Bn by 2031, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.3% from 2024 to 2031.

LNG Bunkering Market Key Factors

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Strict environmental norms by International Maritime Organization to reduce emissions from ships and increased usage of clean and green fuels is driving the growth of the LNG bunkering market. The market is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period. The growing demand for cleaner marine fuels to curb emissions and focus toward developing infrastructure for LNG bunkering across major ports is anticipated to drive the demand. In addition, rising seaborne trade and expansion of shipping fleet size require cleaner fuels and future-proof ships ahead of the impending regulations, which is also likely to boost the LNG bunkering adoption. Strong focus of various governments in establishing bunkering facilities and focus of major ports toward becoming early adopters of LNG are other factors that are expected to propel the market.

Strict Regulations to Reduce Sulphur Emissions

The global shipping industry has come under increased scrutiny in recent years over the environmental impact of burning high sulphur fuel oil. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) imposed regulations mandating a reduction in sulphur emissions from ships in coastal waters and Emission Control Areas. With the new regulations limiting sulphur content to 0.1% from January 2020 compared to 3.5% previously, shipping companies are forced to switch to cleaner marine fuels like liquefied natural gas. LNG as a bunker fuel produces virtually zero sulphur oxide and particulate matter emissions compared to conventional fuels. Major ports and maritime authorities around the world are promoting the use of LNG as a viable and compliant option to meet the stringent emission norms. Ship owners realize investing in LNG-powered vessels and bunkering infrastructure will help future-proof their fleets against increasingly strict environmental policies. The phasing out of heavy fuel oil for marine applications is a key driver for the growth of the LNG bunkering market.

Market Concentration and Competitive Landscape

LNG Bunkering Market Concentration By Players

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Increasing LNG Use in Shipping Trade Routes

A large majority of global trade is transported via maritime shipping routes connecting factories to markets across the world. Traditionally dependent on heavy fuel oil, shipping companies are assessing fuel options to reduce operational costs and meet decarbonization targets over the long run. LNG provides attractive properties as a marine fuel with significant environmental benefits and energy efficiency gains compared to other alternatives. Rising natural gas production has improved the economics of LNG as a marine fuel. Many major ports located on key global trade lanes have either started or are in the process of setting up LNG bunkering facilities. This includes ports in Northern Europe, Asia Pacific, and North America. As infrastructure develops to supply LNG along busy shipping routes, more vessels will convert to run on LNG or new ships will be built LNG-ready or dual-fuel. Major classification societies also support the use of LNG propulsion systems. With an increasing number of ships integrating LNG as a bunker fuel in their energy mix, the worldwide demand for LNG bunkering services can be expected to surge in the coming years.

LNG Bunkering Market Key Takeaways From Lead Analyst

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Challenges: Huge capital investments and the technology for LNG bunkering

The global LNG bunkering market faces several technological and infrastructure challenges. Setting up an LNG bunkering infrastructure requires huge capital investments and the technology for LNG bunkering is still evolving. Developing small-scale liquefaction facilities is a major challenge. Safety concerns related to the highly flammable nature of LNG is another roadblock for the widespread adoption of LNG as a bunker fuel.

Opportunities: Growing focus on reducing emissions and shifting towards cleaner marine fuels

There are significant opportunities for the growth of the LNG bunkering market. With growing focus on reducing emissions and shifting towards cleaner marine fuels, the demand for LNG as a bunker fuel is expected to increase substantially in the coming years. The International Maritime Organization's stricter emission norms will further drive ships to switch to LNG. Both port authorities and market players are making efforts to develop the necessary infrastructure & promote the use of LNG. This presents lucrative business opportunities for vendors.

LNG Bunkering Market By Product Type

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Insights, By Product Type: In terms of product type, ship-to-ship contributes the highest share of the market due to its operational advantages

In terms of product type, ship-to-ship contributes 39.8% share of the market due to its operational advantages. The ship-to-ship segment dominates the global LNG bunkering market by product type owing to its inherent efficiencies and flexibility. Ship-to-ship bunkering allows LNG carriers to refuel other vessels directly through mid-sea transshipment operations. This bunkering method offers significant logistical and cost benefits compared to other modes of LNG transfer such as truck-to-ship. Ship-to-ship bunkering eliminates the need for specialized LNG receiving infrastructure like storage tanks and vaporizers that are required at ports. This allows vessels to refuel seamlessly anywhere along their international transit routes. The flexible and mobile nature of ship-to-ship operations also helps minimize downtime and deviation for refueling vessels. This ensures continuous, undisrupted cargo operations for LNG carriers as well as other vessels. From a safety perspective, ship-to-ship bunkering is optimized to handle large LNG volumes through specialized transfer systems. Proper crew training and strict protocols during mid-sea operations help mitigate operational risks. Furthermore, refueling at sea provides a secure environment isolated from congested ports and populated areas, reducing risks to people and property.

Insights, By Application: Cargo fleet accounts for the highest share in the application segment owing to widespread LNG adoption

The cargo fleet application segment dominates the global LNG bunkering market due to significant growth in LNG carrier and container vessel fleets with 36.3% of the market share. An increasing number of cargo lines are incorporating LNG propulsion systems across new builds as well as retrofits to reduce emissions and comply with stringent environmental regulations. LNG offers tremendous benefits as a marine fuel for cargo vessels involved in international trade lanes. It emits nearly zero sulfur and particulate emissions compared to conventional bunker fuels. The use of LNG also helps ships meet the IMO's upcoming Emission Control Area (ECA) requirements and potential future regulations to curb greenhouse gases. Furthermore, larger container ships and very large gas carriers are prime candidates for LNG bunkering given their high fuel consumption. Retrofitting such vessels provides an optimal solution to lower total cost of ownership compared to installing exhaust gas cleaning systems or switching to more expensive compliant fuels in the long run. Leading global shipping lines have proactively invested in developing the LNG infrastructure and bunker vessel fleet needed to support the growing cargo segments. Strategic partnerships along strategic trade routes help ensure a steady LNG supply to cargo carriers. As uptake increases across dry bulkers, tankers and container/gas carrier fleets, the cargo segment is poised to extend its dominant share of the LNG bunker market over the coming years.

Regional Insights

LNG Bunkering Market Regional Insights

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The European region, comprising countries, such as Norway, the Netherlands, and Germany, currently dominates the global LNG bunkering market with 36.7% of the market share. With countries like Norway having a strong foothold in the shipping industry as well as being a leading producer and exporter of natural gas, the availability of LNG as a bunker fuel is high in the region. Major ports in European countries like Rotterdam and Hamburg have invested heavily in building LNG bunkering infrastructure like storage facilities and bunkering vessels. This has given a major boost to LNG bunkering activities and uptake by marine vessels calling at these ports. Ship owners and operators find it economical to bunker LNG in the region owing to competitive pricing and smooth refueling operations supported by robust port infrastructure and technical expertise.

The Asia Pacific region, especially countries like Indonesia, China, and Australia, is witnessing the fastest growth in the global LNG bunkering market. With stringent emissions norms coming into effect and focus on using cleaner fuels, ship owners in Asia are actively exploring the use of LNG. Furthermore, countries like Indonesia aim to position themselves as bunkering hubs to cater to the increasing maritime trade within the region. Ports in Indonesia are actively working to create an ecosystem to support LNG bunkering through the development of onshore and offshore facilities. Additionally, the availability of domestic natural gas reserves and growth of Indonesia's shipping sector is aiding the development of LNG bunkering. Countries like China and Australia are also making investments to set up small and mid-scale LNG bunkering infrastructure to cater to the regional demand and de-carbonize domestic shipping activities.

Market Report Scope

LNG Bunkering Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2023 Market Size in 2024: US$ 1.24 Bn
Historical Data for: 2019 To 2023 Forecast Period: 2024 To 2031
Forecast Period 2024 to 2031 CAGR: 30.3% 2031 Value Projection: US$ 7.91 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel, and Rest of Middle East & Africa
Segments covered:
  • By Product Type: Portable Tanks , Ship-to-Ship , Port-to-Ship , and Truck-to-Ship
  • By Application: Container Fleet , Tanker Fleet , Cargo Fleet , Ferries , Inland Vessels , and Others 
Companies covered:

Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Korea Gas Corporation, ENGIE SA, Skangas AS, Gasum Oy, Total S.A., ENN Energy Holdings Limited, Crowley Maritime Corporation, Bomin Linde LNG GmbH & Co. KG, Harvey Gulf International Marine LLC, Fjord Line AS, Gazpromillioneft Marine Bunker LLC, Statoil ASA, Eagle LNG Partners, Titan LNG BV, Naturgy Energy Group SA, Gasnor AS, EVOL LNG Pty Ltd, Polskie LNG S.A., and Transgas Inc.

Growth Drivers:
  • Strict regulations to reduce sulphur emissions
  • Increasing LNG use in shipping trade routes 
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Huge capital investments and the technology for LNG bunkering
  • Limited LNG bunkering infrastructure 

Key Developments

  • In January 2024, Hudong-Zhonghua launched a 14,000 cubic meter LNG bunkering vessel
  • In January 2024, Peninsula launched LNG BUNKERING Services at Port of Algeciras
  • In January 2024, Seaspan launched first of three LNG bunkering vessels
  • In February 2024, Molgas Group launched LNG bunker supply in France
  • In 2023, Crowley moved to launch the first-ever LNG bunkering at Panama

*Definition: The global LNG bunkering market refers to the global market for ship-to-ship transfer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel in the shipping industry. As environmental regulations have been mandating reduction in emissions from ships, adoption of LNG as a ship fuel is rising steadily. The LNG bunkering market involves the infrastructure, logistics and facilities required for transporting and delivering LNG to power ships operating globally

Market Segmentation

  • Product Type Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • Portable Tanks
    • Ship-to-Ship
    • Port-to-Ship
    • Truck-to-Ship
  •  Application Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • Container Fleet
    • Tanker Fleet
    • Cargo Fleet
    • Ferries
    • Inland Vessels
    • Others
  • Regional Insights (Revenue, USD Bn, 2019 - 2031)
    • North America
      • U.S.
      • Canada
    • Latin America
      • Brazil
      • Argentina
      • Mexico
      • Rest of Latin America
    • Europe
      • Germany
      • U.K.
      • Spain
      • France
      • Italy
      • Russia
      • Rest of Europe
    • Asia Pacific
      • China
      • India
      • Japan
      • Australia
      • South Korea
      • ASEAN
      • Rest of Asia Pacific
    • Middle East & Africa
      • GCC Countries
      • Israel
      • Rest of Middle East & Africa
  • Key Players Insights
    • Royal Dutch Shell PLC
    • Korea Gas Corporation
    • ENGIE SA
    • Skangas AS
    • Gasum Oy
    • Total S.A.
    • ENN Energy Holdings Limited
    • Crowley Maritime Corporation
    • Bomin Linde LNG GmbH & Co. KG
    • Harvey Gulf International Marine LLC
    • Fjord Line AS
    • Gazpromillioneft Marine Bunker LLC
    • Statoil ASA
    • Eagle LNG Partners
    • Titan LNG BV
    • Naturgy Energy Group SA
    • Gasnor AS
    • EVOL LNG Pty Ltd
    • Polskie LNG S.A.
    • Transgas Inc.

Frequently Asked Questions

The CAGR of the global LNG bunkering market is projected to be 30.3% from 2024 to 2031.

Strict regulations to reduce sulphur emissions and increasing LNG use in shipping trade routes are the major factors driving the growth of the global LNG bunkering market.

Huge capital investments and the technology for LNG bunkering and limited LNG bunkering infrastructure are the major factors hampering the growth of the global LNG bunkering market.

In terms of product type, ship-to-ship is estimated to dominate the market revenue share in 2024.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Korea Gas Corporation, ENGIE SA, Skangas AS, Gasum Oy, Total S.A., ENN Energy Holdings Limited, Crowley Maritime Corporation, Bomin Linde LNG GmbH & Co. KG, Harvey Gulf International Marine LLC, Fjord Line AS, Gazpromillioneft Marine Bunker LLC, Statoil ASA, Eagle LNG Partners, Titan LNG BV, Naturgy Energy Group SA, Gasnor AS, EVOL LNG Pty Ltd, Polskie LNG S.A., and Transgas Inc. are the major players.

Europe is expected to lead the global LNG bunkering market.

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