As the world’s largest owner and operator of VLGCs, we have a responsibility and an opportunity to lead the industry in tackling one of the most important challenges of our time, which is to decarbonise shipping operations.
The technology needed to power huge two-stroke diesel engines on liquid gas injection propulsion was not available, and market demand was nascent. Using decades of maritime and gas experience, the team at BW LPG went to work. In collaboration with MAN ES, Wärtsilä, DNV and Isle of Man flag state, BW LPG invested in research and development and now, four years later, is delivering from this collaboration. BW LPG has committed 15 of its VLGCs to be retrofitted with LPG dual-fuel propulsion engines, a commitment of over US$130 million.
During each of these vessel’s regularly scheduled dry-docks, two LPG deck tanks are installed on deck. These tanks are filled using the cargo system during loading. LPG is drawn from the tanks into a fuel gas supply system and piped to the engine. A small amount of compliant pilot fuel, such as diesel, is injected into the engine as the piston nears the top. It sparks under pressure, and LPG burns to create propulsive force.
LPG propulsion engines offer significant environmental, operational and economic benefits. With LPG as fuel, we reduce emissions to air, gain operational efficiencies, and benefit from cost savings. Even though LPG is not a zero-carbon fuel, the technology is an important stepping stone on the journey to full decarbonisation.
A further benefit of LPG propulsion is that it can be retrofitted to existing vessels. Building new ships can provide the benefits of operating with the new fuel, but this comes with a heavy carbon cost. Counting total emissions, a new ship represents about 70,000 tonnes of CO2 in the materials and building process. Compared to 2,000 tonnes of CO2 for retrofitting, the sustainability outcome is much better from retrofitting than from building new vessels.
As the first of 15 vessels we have committed for retrofitting, BW Gemini is a demonstration of not only fuel savings and operational efficiencies, but also a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change.
With this pioneering technology, BW LPG is advancing technology towards zero-carbon propulsion.
In India, indoor pollution from cooking with biomass is estimated to cause about 1.1 million deaths per year1 . In response, the government of India has launched a program to bring LPG access to 80 million households below the poverty line. Through our Indian Joint Venture (JV), BW Global United LPG India, we are increasing LPG imports into India to support the transition to cleaner burning energy. When LPG replaces dangerous sources of traditional fuels, it directly saves lives.
India is projected to become the most populous country in the world by 2027
Achieved a sharp reduction in extreme poverty2
Increasing grid connectivity to improve living standards
India is the world’s second largest importer of LPG, and long-term trends are expected to support growing domestic demand.
Imports of LPG grew 12.5% over the past five years to 12 million metric tonnes in 2018-19, and are projected to rise 34% from 2014 to 2025. LPG growth is driven primarily by increased retail demand and strong government support for LPG consumption. Investments in import infrastructure and biomass displacement also support demand.
LPG demand in the residential sector is expected to increase at a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.3%, reaching 34 million tonnes in 2030 as households’ dependence on traditional biomass diminishes in the long run, supported by rising average household income, increasing urbanisation, and government schemes to help families switch from traditional biomass to LPG.
In the three years since inception in July 2017, BW LPG’s JV has increased its fleet to five vessels, becoming India’s largest owner and operator of VLGCs. The VLGCs are maintained to world class standards and are positioned to support the growing Middle East- India time charter market.
BW Global United LPG India offers customers in India the assurance of over 50 years of operating experience, access to a large pool of experienced employees with extensive industry experience, a strong brand and industry-leading customer relations.
|Vessel name||Built||Size (CBM)||Builder||Country Yard||Indian Flag||Indian TC|
|BW Birch||2007||82,291||Hyundai HI||KR|
|BW Energy||2007||82,291||Hyundai HI||KR|
|BW Boss||2002||82,200||Kawasaki HI||JP|
|BW Cedar||2001||84,333||Kawasaki HI||JP|
|BW Elm||2007||80,645||Hyundai HI||KR|
At the core of our sustainability approach is the purpose of our Company – where we work towards a Better World. We want to take the lead in transitioning the world towards cleaner energy, and in the process be a trusted, transparent, and reliable partner for our stakeholders. It is in India where we can showcase how energy can be used to uplift communities, and how companies can do good while doing well.