Gastech News asked Shan Tongwen, Research Director – Chief LNG Engineer at CNOOC, and current Gastech Governing Body Member, what the main drivers to develop China’s LNG shipping industry are.
Gastech News: What are the latest technical developments and trends in LNG as a transportation fuel in China? What has CNOOC achieved in terms of promoting the development of China’s LNG fuels?
Shan Tongwen: The LNG vehicle industry developed very fast during the past 10 years. By the end of 2015, there will be about 2500 LNG refuelling stations and 200 thousand LNG vehicles in China, ranking the top of the world.
As China divided its own emission control area (ECA) in coastal areas, cleaner fuels used by ships are inevitable. China has started oil to gas retrofitting projects since 2008 and 118 diesel fuelled ships are under conversion. I think the development of China's LNG fuelled ship industry lies on the following three aspects:
- Breakthrough in key technologies for LNG fuelled ships. Here is how we realised the oil-gas retrofitting in the past: inject LNG into diesel engine with diesel and burn them together. Compared with the natural gas engines of Rolls-Royce, Wärtsilä and Mitsubishi, our technology is outdated. Thus, the key point of promoting China’s LNG fuelled ship industry is to develop more efficient and environmental natural gas engines, on which China's manufacturers are working hard.
- Study and build LNG bunkering facilities. The absence of bunkering facilities is a big obstruction to China's LNG fuelled ships. To solve the problem, CNOOC has developed LNG bunkering arms and hoses for ships recognised by China Classification Society (CCS). Meanwhile, we are developing LNG bunkering barge and shuttle ships to provide various bunkering choices.
- Establish relevant standards. The development of LNG fuelled ships requires government to establish supporting standards. CNOOC, as a leading company in China's LNG industry, has made a lot of studies on safety issues and helped to prepare for relevant standards. Until now, Chinese government has published standards for LNG fuelled ships, bulk cargo ships and bunkering barges. In the future, there will be more supporting standards to come.
Are you aware of new/different plans to increase the number of LNG fuelled ships in China? Let us know your views below.
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