There has been a lot of controversy about President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords. However, one of the points made by Trump, was that despite pulling out of the accords, he still expects American industries to play a key role in developing greener technologies and alternative fuels. The boating industry has already been out in the forefront in developing alternative fuels for luxury motor yachts and other vessels. One of these has been liquid natural gas, or LNG.
Natural Gas and Marine Applications
Natural gas is already being used across the country as an alternative to home heating oil, and many fleets of busses and other commercial vehicles have been introduced that run on natural gas. A North Carolina start-up, Blue Gas Marine, has built a prototype sport fishing boat that runs on natural gas. The Intrepid 327 center-console fishing boat is a hybrid, powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) as well as gasoline, and is propelled by twin Mercury 300HP Verado outboards.
Liquefied natural gas or LNG, is derived from the same sources as CNG, but it is different, particularly in its storage and refueling requirements, known as “bunkering.” CNG is much more practical for smaller converted gasoline engines, and can be dispensed via individual stations much like gasoline. So it made sense for Blue Gas Marine to turn toward CNG for its prototype Sportsfisher.
However, for large ocean going commercial vessels, LNG has been the natural gas of choice. LNG offers huge advantages as a marine fuel, especially for commercial vessels in light of ever-tightening emission regulations. Increasing numbers of ship owners and operators are turning to LNG over traditional marine fuels in response to tighter sulfur and nitrogen oxide emissions regulations. In October 2016, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) announced the introduction of a global 0.5% sulfur cap beginning in 2020.
While different technologies can be used to comply with air emission limits, LNG technology shows the most promise from a regulatory and economic point of view. The marine industry believes that LNG may very well be the future of meeting both its environmental and economic objectives. To that end, Qatar Petroleum’s Wave LNG Solutions, LLC and Shell Gas & Power Developments B.V. (Shell), signed a framework agreement in early June 2017 to develop a liquefied natural gas bunkering infrastructure at strategic shipping locations across the globe.
Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatar Petroleum’s President and CEO, said, “We are pleased to team up with our long-term partner and industry pioneer, Shell, on this important initiative. We view LNG bunkering as a promising opportunity for LNG to further grow as a clean energy source.”
Shell’s Chief Executive Office, Ben van Beurden, added, “As two of the world’s leading LNG suppliers, Shell and Qatar Petroleum have the capability and experience to deliver LNG as a marine fuel to ship owners and operators who must meet tougher emissions regulations from 2020. We look forward to working with Qatar Petroleum to increase the availability of LNG as a fuel for transport.”
Other Alternative Fuels for Boats
Other alternative fuels in use or being considered for marine engines include propane and bio-fuels. Los Angeles-based engine maker Lehr, offers a wide range of engines and equipment that can run on liquid propane, including a growing line of outboards.
Biobutanol is a bio-fuel made by the fermentation of agricultural materials. As a marine fuel, it holds promise because it does not show the separation or other problems of ethanol when blended with gasoline.
Evinrude demonstrated the viability of this fuel blend at the 2015 Miami International Boat Show, using a Crevalle 25 bay boat powered by a 300HP Evinrude E-Tec G2.
Fuel Services at Our Marina
Until yachts that can run on liquid natural gas, or other alternative fuels become the norm, you can keep you fuel costs down by buying your fuel from a reputable supplier.
As a fuel supplier, we are now selling fuel to our customers, as well as any boats in the marina. When you fill up with us you can be sure you are getting only top quality diesel, or authentic Rec 90 gasoline specified for marine engines.
Our fuel prices are significantly lower than any other marina in the area, and we offer even greater savings with preferred fuel prices to yachts that sign up for our On Demand Management Services, or our Charter Income Program.
We will even deliver fuel, diesel or gasoline, right to your boat, no matter where she is docked!
Never Run on Empty!
Having a cost effective and convenient way to refuel your yacht, is only one way that we keep your motor yacht all “gassed up” and ready to go. Our On Demand yachting solution is designed to take all of the hassles out of luxury yacht ownership. From fuel, to crew, to routine maintenance, our On Demand clients are never left feeling like they are running on empty!
Operating a motor yacht can be costly. You can reduce your expenses, and avoid costly repairs by keeping her well maintained. On Demand yachting from FYM can help. If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Yacht Management specialists, or call us at (954) 900-9968.