2018 December 3
Using liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel for vessels is an important decision to keep the Arctic ecosystem, the MGIMO University’s Professor, Director of Vnesheconombank’s Institute for Research and Expertise, a former Aide on Transport to Russia’s Representation at EU Yulia Zvorykina told TASS.
Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources has been working on a project to have vessels, working in the Arctic, use gas instead of diesel or black oil to prevent water pollution. Organization of the "green" fleet is called a priority task in development of the water transport.
"Anyway, the first stage is the liquefied natural gas," the professor said. "Having the transport use gas, especially in the ecology sensitive regions, like in the Arctic, is a very important topic, which develops now."
"This would be a major decision to keep the ecosystem in the Russian Arctic zone," she added.
Using gas as fuel would be the first step towards future use of hydrogen fuel, she continued.
"Use of LNG is a gradual transition towards the hydrogen fuel, which many countries are considering now, including Iceland, and for the Russian Arctic zone it would solve many problems. <…> Earlier, the Russian Ministry of Transport initiated a program to use LNG in transport, and now this program is continued at the Ministry of Energy and additional financing has been approved, thus we hope our transport in the Arctic will be ecology-effective in long-term future," she said, adding the transition period would be long.
According to the expert, big players on the Russian shipbuilding market prepare the projected fleet to using LNG. "For fueling small vessels, low-tonnage wells could be used, and this topic is active," she said. "Scientists say that actually an LNG filling capacity could be made at every 1,000-km point in the Arctic, thus solving fully the task of filling vessels there.".