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Challenges for Using LNG Fueled Ships for Arctic Routes

[+] Author Affiliations
Henrique M. Gaspar, Vilmar Æsøy, Hans Petter Hildre

Aalesund University College, Aalesund, Norway

Sören Ehlers

Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, NorwayAalesund University College, Aalesund, Norway

Sandro Erceg

Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

Océane Balland

DNV GL, Høvik, Norway

Paper No. OMAE2014-23914, pp. V010T07A034; 10 pages
  • ASME 2014 33rd International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 10: Polar and Arctic Science and Technology
  • San Francisco, California, USA, June 8–13, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4556-1
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


The utilization of the Northern Sea Route by commercial ships is an official fact. Since 2009 the number of international cargo vessels using the passage has been increasing, and a continuous raise in these numbers is expected if the route establishes itself as reliable. The route saves vessels approximately two weeks’ time in summer over a route via the Suez channel, but the increase brings concerns, regarding environmental impact, safety, and operability on the route.

This paper investigates the current challenges of using LNG fueled ships for arctic transport routes. A panorama of the recent conditions and predictions for the arctic environment regarding ice concentration and seasonal route availability is presented. The current development of LNG as a commercial fuel is discussed based on this arctic panorama, approaching key topics such as infrastructure, economic viability, propulsion requirements, and environmental impact. Special attention is given to the performance of LNG propulsion systems under arctic conditions, focusing on powering and air emissions. We conclude the paper by proposing the implementation of a lifecycle model to predict economical and environmental performance indicators when simulating a fleet of LNG fueled ships operating under many possible future ice conditions scenarios.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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