Although LNG is a very environmentally friendly solution and its cost price is close to other fuels, the lack of LNG infrastructure is a main challenge for the decision of operators to invest in LNG, said Karin Orsel, CEO, MF Shipping Group & President KVNR, at an exclusive interview with GREEN4SEA at Europort Conference, in early November.
“The structure in North-West Europe is improving, there are a couple of bunker vessels from two or three companies, but in other parts of the world there is not. As long as this is not the case, something has to be done.”
Further, she noted that price differences have encouraged many owners to prefer dual fuel vessels and namely informed that MF Shipping is currently building four dual- fuel tankers. The company also plans to build six tankers non dual-fuel, because of lack of LNG infrastructure, she explained.
In addition, Mrs. Orsel highlighted that it is a main area of concern if LNG is a long-term solution or a mid-term solution, ahead of technologies and innovations accelerating.
“…Everybody is looking at what comes next, and that is a challenge for us as industry, because if you expect to invest in a vessel for 20 years, is this the right decision or is there going to be some completely new structure? You cannot make a 1.000.000 investment and discover after five years that this was not the best thing to do.”
Summing up, Mrs. Orsel shared her key message to the industry regarding LNG as a marine fuel:
“LNG is one of the most environmentally-friendly solutions, but it is a mid-term solution. So, we need to innovate and make sure that for the very short-term, infrastructure is there. That is the only way to make sure we take part in the whole environmental discussion and take our responsibility.”
In the interview, apart from LNG as a marine fuel, Mrs. Orsel referred to the need for change of education onboard, which should be moved from traditional pattern to a more multi-faced knowledge from young generation, with IT knowledge, leadership skills and diversity handling.
“The dry cargo market is going up again, despite recent challenging years… I think we can look forward to a very bright future with a lot of innovations which may surprise us.”
Furthermore, she focused on the need for sustainable practices in shipping during the exhibition.
‘’Without sustainability the industry will not survive’’, that was Mrs Orsel’s key message at the Europort opening ceremony.
‘’Maintenance is an essential aspect of running a successful shipping company. But it isn’t just our vessels that have to be maintained to a high standard. Shipping is also a people business, so it is equally important we maintain strong relationships with our customers, with our numerous suppliers and with all the organisations involved in keeping our business buoyant.’, she added.
Mrs. Orsel is also the President of KNVR, the Royal Dutch Shipowners Association, which represents its members nationally and on European Shipowners Association and works with the aim to make a difference at the environment by ensuring that global regulations are represented in the right way.