WWF urged leading shipping companies to move to LNG
The position was presented by WWF-Russia at the "Transport of Russia" international forum, which is being held in Moscow these days as part of the "Transport Week". Heads of the key ministries and leading transport companies of Russia took part in the plenary.
Addressing the guests, Evgeny Shvarts, Director for Conservation Policy of WWF-Russia noted that liquefied natural gas has colossal advantages over oil fuels currently used by Arctic vessels.
"Refusal of oil fuel will reduce emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere by hundreds of thousands of tons: sulfur oxides and nitrogen, black carbon and others. This is especially important in conditions of rapidly growing cargo turnover on the Northern Sea Route, which will reach 100 million tons by the year 2030," explained E. Shvarts. "In addition, the shift to LNG can solve the problem of emergency oil spills in the Russian Arctic once and for all."
The initiative to transfer ships operating in the Arctic from heavy fuel to more environmentally friendly liquefied natural gas was put forward by WWF in 2016. Now this is a world trend, and in Russia it also gets more and more supporters. Russian President's envoy for environmental protection, ecology and transport issues Sergey Ivanov and Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Sergey Donskoy have already expressed support for this direction.
At present, the LNG production projects are being actively developed in the Arctic, along the all Northern coast from Arkhangelsk to Yakutia and Chukotka. In fact, LNG can be recognized as a local fuel.
"Under these conditions, the Northern Sea Route may become the world`s first transcontinental passage where vessels are fueled only with LNG. We call on all the transport operators to start shifting to a promising and environmentally less harmful type of fuel," concluded Evgeny Shvarts.
"At the same time, it is important that not only shipping companies take the course for modernization under LNG, but also that oil and gas companies that implement LNG projects in the Arctic include supply of gas to the domestic market for bunkering in their business strategies," adds Extractive Industries Environmental Policy Officer of WWF-Russia Alexeу Knizhnikov. "In this regard, the Russian Arctic LNG pioneer "Yamal LNG" could become the first company that will undertake such obligations."