DNV GL established a liquefied natural gas (LNG) solution group in North America.
Bjørn-Harald Bangstein, DNV GL director of operations maritime advisory, Americas.
DNV GL says that in addition to deep LNG expertise, the Houston-based “LNG Solutions Group - Americas” is also experienced in all business, risk and regulatory matters specific to the North American market.
There will be increasingly strict regulations of sulphur emissions in force in 2015 and there are already tightened Emission Control Area regulations for the US, causing ship owners to face rising fuel prices.
For instance, DNV GL says, due to the new regulations, marine gas oil (MGO) will likely see a price jump in three months, possibly as high as 30% in the short term, and a minimum of 20% in the long term. This has impact well beyond the maritime industry.
“Judging from our list of recently completed projects, you can clearly see the market is about to reach a tipping point, from market, feasibility and risk studies to actual new-buildings, export and bunkering facilities,” says Bjørn-Harald Bangstein, director of operations maritime advisory, Americas.
According to DNV GL, as of July 2014 there are 116 LNG fueled vessels in total (50 vessels in service and 66 on order). Of these, 75 are classed by DNV GL (46 in in service, 29 newbuilds), which gives DNV GL a market share of 65%.
“We are now doing what we can to meet pent-up demand for LNG services also beyond the maritime industry by drawing on our expertise from oil and gas,” says Bangstein. “This allows us to offer an unrivaled set of capabilities, from major export or liquefaction projects to small scale bunkering and everything in between.”
Bangstein says that more than any other company, DNV GL has championed LNG as a solution for some of the main challenges facing the maritime industry: fuel cost and emission reductions. Combined with the abundance of cheaper natural gas in North America this contributes to a surge in LNG activities.
“Through our interfaces with the US Coast Guard, both formal and informal, we know that they are now finalizing the remaining regulatory requirements on a detailed level. They are doing so in an open and consultative manner that involves the industry and prevents surprises and misunderstandings,” says Bangstein. “Naturally there could be additional state, county and municipal regulations. But with a national regulatory framework designed to prevent major hazards using a risk based approach, particular local variations can be addressed through risk assessments, allowing for a consistent and predictable national regulatory framework.”