This Position Paper provides an overview of the possible alternative fuels for marine propulsion.
Maritime transport accounts for over 80% of world trade by volume and for approximately 3%
of global greenhouse gas emissions, while it is also a contributor to air pollution close to coastal
areas and ports. In order to reduce the impact maritime transport has on climate change and on
the environment, a number of fuel efficiency measures, both on technical and on operational
levels, have to be adopted, including the introduction of alternative fuels. The immediate effect
of introducing alternative fuels will be a strong reduction in SOx, NOx, and PM, while greenhouse
gas reductions will also be possible, depending on what types of fuel are used. Fossil-based fuels,
such as LNG will have limited contribution to greenhouse gas reductions, while biofuels have the
potential to lead to drastic reductions. On a technical level, the introduction of alternative fuels will
be accompanied by additional complexity, in the areas of fuel supply infrastructure, rules for safe
use of fuels on board, and operation of new systems. It is expected that a number of different fuels
may become important in different markets around the world, depending on local availability of
fuels, which will add to the complexity. In this environment, the role of Classification Societies will
become increasingly important, in order to ensure the safe handling of fuels in shipping.
[Publication not financed by SFI Smart Maritime]