LIQUEFIED natural gas is likely to have a limited life as a marine fuel, Viva Energy manager marine fuels Stephen Duniam predicts.

Speaking at the Australian Peak Shippers Association forum in Melbourne, Mr Duniam indicated LNG had a role but not necessarily for the very long term.

“My personal view is LNG as an alternative fuel probably has a half-life of 30 years, a maximum of two newbuilds,” he said.

“You might get two ships out of it before LNG becomes redundant because it can’t meet the greenhouse gas efficient targets that the IMO has put in place.

“So I think in the next 30 years you will see an uptake of LNG, it might have its place for 20 or 25 years and then I think you will see the next big thing whether it’s ammonia or one of these other fuel types.

“I don’t see that [LNG has] got a place in the future beyond 2050.”

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Describing the local fuel situation, Mr Duniam said there were two grades of marine fuel supply in Australia, high sulphur residual fuel oil and marine gas oil.

He noted fuel costs in Australia were “substantially higher”, bunker fuel trading between US$100 and US$200 a tonne higher than the equivalent in Singapore.

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