A cruise operators’ guide to low methane certified LNG fuel

Cruise operators that want to cut greenhouse gas emissions are currently considering using liquefied natural gas (LNG) as an alternative fuel since it is much cleaner than diesel. While this move should certainly be applauded, it’s crucial that the industry recognises that not all LNG can be classified as low emission.

There is significant variance in the climate impact of batches of LNG, and some LNG comes from a natural gas production process that can leak large quantities of methane into the environment. A recent study by the campaign group Transport and Environment found a dramatic rise in methane emissions from cruise ships as a result of them switching to LNG.

Methane is an extremely harmful greenhouse gas. It is 80 times more powerful in climate terms than carbon over a 20-year time frame. Methane leaks can occur across the whole natural gas supply chain, including during the production and transportation stage. The more methane that leaks during the production and transportation of LNG that eventually ends up being used by a cruise operator, the higher their Scope 3 emissions will be.

Some natural gas producers are however focused on reducing methane leakages and are using third-party auditors to verify their emissions against the MiQ Standard – an independent framework for assessing methane emissions from the production of natural gas.

MiQ auditors grade gas using a scale of A to F, which denotes the level of methane intensity (or methane leakages across the supply chain), and this is recorded on MiQ certificates which are then stored on MiQ’s Digital Registry. A data-led grading system provides the transparency needed to understand and act on methane leaks.

A cruise line operator with ambitions to reduce emissions as much as possible should look to purchase Certified Gas that is graded at least A to C. Methane intensity at Grade A is less than 0.05%, Grade B is less than 0.10%, and Grade C is less than 0.20%.

Of the natural gas produced in the US, 20% is currently being independently certified by MiQ-approved auditors as low methane (Grade A to C). The volume of available MiQ-certified gas is equivalent to 1,000 LNG cargos worth of natural gas.

Cruise operators eager to demonstrate genuine emissions reductions by purchasing lower methane certified LNG should enquire with MiQ today.

Contact info@miq.org to find out more.

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