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LNG Bunkering Market is estimated to be valued at USD 1.24 Billion in 2024

LNG Bunkering Market is estimated to be valued at USD 1.24 Billion in 2024 - Coherent Market Insights

Publish In: Apr 16, 2024

LNG Bunkering Market is estimated to be valued at USD 1.24 Billion in 2024, growing at a CAGR of 30.3% over the forecast period (2024-2031). The growing adoption of liquified natural gas as a cleaner marine fuel owing to stringent emission regulations for sulfur and greenhouse gases is driving the market growth. Furthermore, the increasing LNG fueled fleet such as tankers, bulk carriers, and container ships is also fueling the market growth.

Market Dynamics:

The growth of the global LNG bunkering market is driven by two major factors. Firstly, the International Maritime Organization's regulation to reduce sulfur content in marine fuels from 3.5% to 0.5% has led shipping companies and ports to increasingly adopt LNG as a cleaner alternative. Non-compliance results in heavy penalties which is prompting shipping operators to integrate LNG powered vessels and bunkering infrastructure. Secondly, the demand for gas as a fuel in the shipping industry is growing due to stricter environmental norms to curb pollution. LNG provides substantially lower emissions and helps significantly reduce greenhouse gases and air pollutants, thus driving its adoption over conventional fuels.

Growing Global Trade and Maritime Transportation is driving the Demand for LNG as a Marine Fuel

The expansion of global trade and commerce has led to significant increase in maritime transportation over the past few decades. As per industry estimates, over 80% of global trade by volume is carried through ships and marine vessels. With increasing trade volumes, the demand for fuel from the shipping sector has also risen steadily. LNG is emerging as a promising alternative fuel for ships due to its clean burning properties and abundance. Transition to LNG bunkering allows ship owners and operators to reduce emissions and comply with stringent environmental regulations. This growing demand from the shipping industry is a major growth driver for the global LNG bunkering market.

Stringent Emission Norms are Forcing Shift towards Greener Marine Fuels

Various regional and international bodies have imposed stringent emission norms on the shipping industry to curb air and marine pollution. Regulatory bodies like IMO and EU have set emission caps on key pollutants like sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter from ships. The IMO's low sulphur mandate came into effect from 2020, restricting sulphur content in fuel oil to 0.5%. Non-compliance can invite heavy penalties. This policy push is motivating fleet owners to invest in cleaner marine fuels like LNG. Ships switching to LNG can achieve over 85% reduction in SOx emissions and 25% drop in NOx. The tightening regulatory framework is a major factor compelling greater adoption of LNG as a marine fuel.

Lack of Global LNG Bunkering Infrastructure Pose Serious Challenges

Despite the potential environmental and financial benefits, the widespread adoption of LNG as a bunker fuel has been slow due to lack of the global bunkering infrastructure. Very few ports worldwide currently offer LNG bunkering facilities. Developing new LNG bunkering terminals require huge capital investments and also needs approvals from local authorities. Absence of common technical and safety standards further complicate infrastructure development. Ships have to deviate from their routes to refuel from bases with LNG facilities, increasing operating costs. Addressing infrastructure constraints remains critical to accelerating commercialization of LNG bunkering globally. Lack of universal refueling infrastructure poses a significant challenge for market growth.

High Capital Costs Associated with LNG Conversion and Retrofitting Hamper Market Uptake

Shifting to LNG as a ship fuel demands significant capital expenditure on LNG conversion technology, storage tanks, and other new systems. Retrofitting existing vessels with LNG propulsion systems can cost upwards of $2 million. Production of specialized LNG-powered vessels also have higher price tags compared to conventional ships. The payback period for such investments remains long owing to LNG's higher price differential over conventional fuels. Higher capital requirement limits large-scale fleet conversion and newbuilds, especially for smaller ship owners and operators with budget constraints. High upfront capital costs for LNG bunkering infrastructure and ship conversion act as a major restraint.

Rise of LNG-Fuel Cell Hybrid Technology Presents Tremendous Opportunity

The integration of LNG and fuel cells is emerging as a highly promising technology solution. Under this system, ships use fuel cells powered by LNG as the main propulsion source. Fuel cells offer several merits over combustion engines like zero emissions and higher efficiency. LNG serves as fuel for onboard power generation. Leading classification societies like DNV are conducting trials of LNG-fuel cell hybrid systems. Their commercial implementation can help maximize benefits of LNG while overcoming issues like methane slip. Shipowners are evincing strong interest in this new tech as it ensures smooth transition to greener operations. Rapid scale-up of this hybrid technology provides lucrative opportunities.

Growing Policy Push for Decarbonization of the Maritime Transport Industry

Governments and intergovernmental bodies are pursuing increasingly aggressive decarbonization targets to curb emissions from shipping and transport sectors in line with Paris Agreement goals. The EU has proposed the inclusion of maritime transport under its Emissions Trading System (ETS) to reduce carbon footprint. Countries like the U.K., Norway, and U.S. are outlining transition roadmaps and carbon taxes for the shipping industry. This supportive policy environment is incentivizing fleet operators and ports to invest more proactively in low-carbon alternatives like LNG bunkering. Emerging decarbonization mandates at regional and global levels present significant prospects for wider proliferation of LNG as a marine fuel in future.

In conclusion, factors like rising trade volumes, tightening emission regulations, and policy push for green shipping are driving the global LNG bunkering market growth.


Key Developments

  • In January 2024, Seaspan launched first of three LNG bunkering vessels
  • 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 February 2024, Molgas Group launched LNG Bunker Supply in France

Key Players

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.

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