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LNG & the Future of Vessel Fuel

Saturday, December 1, 2018   (0 Comments)

VMA's LNG Roundtable

NORFOLK | With the International Maritime Organization’s sulfur emissions cap approaching in 2020, vessel operators around the world are exploring different options to comply with the imminent regulations. One of the fuel options, liquefied natural gas (LNG), is already being utilized domestically and abroad to fuel purpose-built vessels and those beginning to convert their fuel systems away from fuels with a higher sulfur content. Over the last several years, the emergence of domestic gas supply fields in the United States has also helped fuel the demand for LNG infrastructure relating to bunkering operations.

Virginia’s ports host robust commercial shallow-draft and deep-draft fleets, and the Virginia Maritime Association (VMA) spearheaded an effort to ensure that our vessels will have access to compliant fuels in the near future. On November 15th, 2018, the VMA hosted a roundtable forum on the future of emissions compliance regulations and the use of LNG as a compliant fuel option for vessels calling on our port.

Industry experts from ABS Group, SEA/LNG, and the U.S. Coast Guard’s Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise gave presentations on a wide range of LNG-related topics such as 2020 emissions regulations, compliance options, and regulatory oversight.

With over 40 participants attending either in-person or via conference line, the event attracted a wide range of regional industry players including gas suppliers, vessel operators, consultants, regulators, and technology providers.

“Early adopters are paving the way for those considering LNG as an option,” stated David Stalfort of ABS Group. “It behooves everyone to start planning.”

The two-and-a-half hour roundtable addressed regional planning, operational feasibility, and the market opportunity. “LNG bunkering is coming; LNG-fueled vessels are coming,” said LCDR Dallas Smith with the U.S. Coast Guard’s Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise. “The question is, will it come to Hampton Roads?”

The roundtable concluded with the mandate to commission a working group to further explore and define the regional needs and potential opportunities for developing LNG bunkering infrastructure within our port.

“The road from concept to operation is quite extensive, but it always begins with a conversation,” said Will Fediw, Vice President of Industry & Government Affairs at the VMA. “That’s what we intended to accomplish with the LNG Roundtable.”

For more information on the LNG Roundtable and future discussions, please contact Will Fediw at


This article was featured in the November 2018 Maritime Bulletin

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