Thanks for taking 10 minutes out with gasworld. What have we interrupted in your schedule today?

I am working on an number of activities today, including organising two upcoming webinars on Ammonia – A Zero-Emission Solution for Shipping, and Hydrogen - How is it Applicable in the Marine Environment, and writing a paper on Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and why it is crucial when it comes to assessing alternative marine fuels. I will also be reviewing the latest news and posting relevant articles on LinkedIn, and preparing for my board meeting.

What kind of year has it been for the LNG MFI?

It’s been a very interesting year. On 1st January 2020, the conversation in the maritime world changed instantaneously from sulfur emissions to GHG emissions in the shipping industry. Then came Covid-19 and many in the industry globally had to refocus on coping with the changes the virus brought about. For us, at LNG MFI, it meant changing nearly everything we did to happening online. The results for LNG MFI have been largely very positive. We’re now reaching far more people and able to bring the idea and thoughts of a broader range of people to our members.

For those unfamiliar with the LNG MFI, tell us about the organisation…

The LNG Marine Fuel Institute (LNG MFI) is an independent not-for-profit organisation established to enable LNG, the cleanest alternative available today, to be a primary fuel for marine transportation.

Our vision is that LNG is the primary marine fuel to benefit the nation, grow our industry and reduce our environmental footprint. Our purpose, therefore, is to facilitate the acceleration of LNG’s implementation as a marine fuel with invested stakeholders. Our success will be measured through how efficiently and effectively we are able to help our members turn this into reality. Our strategic objectives are based upon three key pillars: Collaboration, Knowledge, Inform.

We know you’re based in Australia, but do you have a wider footprint?

LNG MFI has a strong footprint in Australia, but shipping is a global industry and we have members from around the world. We work closely with our sister organisation SGMF, based in the UK. Working with our Australian partners has resulted in a greater focus north of Australia, up to Asia.

Let’s talk IMO 2020 and the LNG business. What can you tell us about IMO 2020 and the use of LNG?

Shipping is the backbone of the global economy, responsible for about 90% of world trade, but it also accounts for almost 3% (and rising) of GHG emissions. If left unchecked, shipping GHG emissions will rise 130% by 2050.

LNG MFI’s position is that Australia can meet and exceed the new IMO 2020 regulations by establishing early adoption of LNG as a transition marine fuel, providing the Australasian maritime industry with a superior and cost effective fuel source. There is a strong business case for this change, one that will see us play a leading role in the supply of cleaner emerging fuels, leading to significant industry and jobs growth and emission reductions for Australia. We expect alternative fuels to play a significant role in the shipping industry achieving the IMO 2050 50% net emission target, and LNG will be a large part of the marine fuel mix beyond 2050.

So what’s your experience of the compliance with IMO 2020 so far?

Yes, IMO 2020 certainly did provide a significant boost to the industry – driving a change in fuel types to LNG. It continues to grow even more as a result of the IMO GHG emission targets. Currently, LNG is the cleanest marine fuel available today.

It is the LNG MFI’s position that we must take a two-pronged approach to decarbonising the marine industry; in changing over to LNG as the cleanest fuel available today, while working relentlessly on zero-emission fuels. You can’t do one or the other – we must do both.