Seven big names in LNG shipping have signed up to join a recently formed initiative, which aims to reduce methane emissions across the industry.

Shipowners Cool Company, Capital Gas, Celsius Tankers, JP Morgan’s shipowning arm Global Meridian Holdings, Mitsui OSK Lines, TMS Cardiff Gas and United Overseas Management have joined the Methane Abatement in Maritime Innovation Initiative (MAMII).

They team up with the seven founding members — MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, Carnival Corp, Seaspan Corp, Shell, Lloyd’s Register, Knutsen Group and Maran Gas Maritime — of MAMII, which initially dubbed itself MAM on its launch in September 2022.

On its set up, the group said that in its first year it plans to identify and pilot new technologies to monitor and reduce methane slip from vessels fuelled by LNG and endorse these to industry from 2023.

While using LNG as a fuel can cut CO2 emissions by up to 23% and cut out most NOx, SOx and particulate matter, compared to traditional marine fuels, MAMII said these environmental benefits could be “partially negated” due to any unburned methane passing through the combustion process. 

The group detailed: “Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, estimated to have a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 27-30 over 100 years, while CO2 has a GWP of 1 regardless of time period used.”

MAMII, which is led by LR’s Safetytech Accelerator and chaired by LR global gas director Panayiotis Mitrou, said that in the first six months since it was launched the group has mapped the LNG fuel landscape from the well-to-ship, identified key measurements required and a range of potential new technology for on-board methane measurement.

It said methane abatement initiatives are “gaining traction globally” and highlighted the Green Ray project, which recently won European Union funding.

Safetytech Accelerator head of partnerships Steve Price said: “We are looking forward to the next few months, when we move from analysis and research into piloting new methane measurement technology on ships.

“Measuring actual emissions is a critical step in the decarbonisation of the shipping journey.”

Capital Gas Ship Management managing director Miltos Zisis commented: “Our group has invested heavily in reducing the environmental footprint of our fleet with a specific focus on the reduction of methane emissions.

“We firmly believe that LNG will continue to be a major part of the energy mix and reducing the environmental impact of the value chain is one of the key challenges we are facing,” Zisis added.

TMS Cardiff Gas general manager George Kourelis said: “We are convinced that MAMII will play a critical role in enhancing the information flow and adding to the tools needed to measure methane releases by LNG-fuelled ships, and taking actions in order to mitigate these and cement the position of LNG, as well as synthetic LNG in the future as an alternative green fuel for the next decades.”