The development of LNGpowered vessels is of great significance to energy saving and emission reduction in inland waters shipping in China. In view of this, this paper first analyzes and predicts the shipping business trend, fuel consumption and LNG demand potential in China. Then, this paper makes an investigation into supply price of LNG resources, economical efficiency of LNG's being substitute for fuel oils, and the process of gaspowered vessels development. The following conclusions are drawn of the prospect of LNG as an alternative fuel for shipping vessels in China. (1) LNG is less competitive than fuel oils but more costeffective than diesel. (2) In the future, LNG supply will satisfy the need of LNG as a vessel fuel and its price will be acceptable in the shipping business in China. (3) From both technical and economic points of view, LNG is a good alternative fuel for inland and offshore cargo ships and engineering ships, but not for fishing boats due to its small tonnage, short shipping time as well as fuel subsidies. (4) There are still many problems to solve in terms of legislation, technology, LNG supply on waters, etc. In general, the replacement of shipping vessel fuels by LNG will first go through a trial period of 2 ~ 3 years, then a startup period of 2 ~ 3 years, and finally come into the business development. (5) With the possibility of this replacement and the process of market cultivation taken into account, it is predicted that the maximum demand volume of LNG as an alternative vessel fuel will be about 0.6 billion m3 in 2015 and nearly 4 billion m3 in 2020. In the end, this paper suggests that government departments in charge and the related enterprises should make overall plans and have a sense of ability to reasonably promote this project.
About author:: Zhou Shuhui, senior engineer, born in 1971, has long been engaged in the preliminary studies and strategic scheming research associated with natural gas market, downstream services, and oil & gas storage and transportation projects.
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