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Clean Energy Sees Maritime Industry Adopting LNG Fuel

The shipbuilding unit of General Dynamic (GD) NASSCO earlier this year launched the first container ship fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG), “a little bit of history,” according to Clean Energy Fuels.

What Newport Beach, CA-based Clean Energy executives hope to see is more ocean-going vessels switching to LNG and fulfilling the promise that the marine shipping sector holds for natural gas as a transportation fuel.

In a report released earlier this year, IHS Inc. estimated that annual truck natural gas demand globally by 2030 will reach 81 billion cubic meters (Bcm), or 2.86 Tcf, for compressed natural gas (CNG) and LNG with an additional 17 Bcm (500 Bcf) of LNG coming from ships (see Daily GPI, June 5). LNG demand for trucks and the marine sector is expected to account for 10% of all global LNG traded in 2030.

Clean Energy supplied bunkering services and fuel from its Boron, CA, liquefaction plant for the GD NASSCO-built Isla Bella cargo ship, which was delivered to TOTE Maritime in San Diego, CA, and it will be providing bunkering services for a second NASCCO-built ship named Perla Del Caribe, according to a Clean Energy spokesperson (see Daily GPI, Oct. 19).

With natural gas as their fuel, the TOTE vessels would be equivalent to removing 15,700 gasoline/diesel vehicles from the road.

"As the maritime industry begins to transition to LNG, Clean Energy is able to bring our many years of fueling services to ensure an easy and seamless transition," said CEO Andrew Littlefair.

Recently, Clean Energy signed agreements across the transit, refuse and trucking industries. The company is on track to complete 68 station projects for CNG and/or LNG before the end of this year. The deals across North America are highlighted by a four-year maintenance agreement with Union Gas to fuel up to 120 CNG buses in Ontario, Canada.

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