Wärtsilä keen on supporting Australia’s gas-fueled future.
For decades already, Wärtsilä gas and dual-fuel (DF) engines have been at the forefront of the increasingly rapid shift towards gas fuel. More than engines alone, however, are needed to make the use of gas fuel completely viable. For this reason, Wärtsilä has developed a portfolio of products and solutions that cover the entire gas value chain.
The general consensus of predictions is that the demand for natural gas will grow at a steady rate over the coming few years. Experts are predicting a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of at least 2 percent. The International Energy Agency, in its ‘World Energy Outlook 2013’, report projected a rise in demand for gas of 50 percent between 2010 and 2035.
This steady movement towards the adoption of gas fuel is being driven by the dual ‘e’ factors of economics and environmental legislation. The price relative to energy content of gas is clearly favourable when compared to other fossil fuels, and this is likely to be increasingly the case as shale gas becomes more and more available. On the environmental side, clean burning gas has significantly lower emissions, particularly SOx and CO2, than oil and coal.
The global demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) is expected to show similarly strong growth. This growth in production has led to similar expansions in LNG receiving terminal capacity and the general LNG infrastructure.
Australia is predicted to be the largest exporter of gas and could well move towards domestic use of this gas. In order for LNG to be the bunker fuel of choice in Australia, the infrastructure and industry knowledge needs to be firmly in. Once gas gains acceptance there is huge potential for both offshore & onshore usage.
The gas chain extends from the initial gas exploration and drilling processes, to the production and liquefaction of LNG, which then has to be transported to storage and distribution facilities, and finally to the end users who utilise LNG in their operations.
Furthermore, Wärtsilä Ship Design with more than 50 years’ experience and offices throughout Europe and Asia , is able to provide optimised vessel designs and integrated onboard systems specifically geared, not only for the optimal use of LNG as fuel, but also for the special requirements of offshore applications.
Altogether, some 1000 Wärtsilä DF engines have been sold for both marine and land-based applications, with more than 13 million running hours already accumulated.
The completion of the gas value chain naturally is with end-user applications. The arguments in favour of natural gas and LNG as fuel are compelling, and both land-based power plant and marine shipping decision makers are increasingly opting to move away from conventional liquid fuels. The use of LNG fuel is now available for vessels of virtually all types.
Wärtsilä has clearly taken a leading role in end-to-end LNG systems that facilitate greater environmental and economic sustainability.