The global LNG bunkering market was valued at USD 3.77 billion in 2020 to USD 5.14 billion by 2027, at a CAGR of 45.2% from 2021 to 2027. LNG is an attractive alternative fuel for seagoing and inland vessels, as liquefied natural gas emits fewer polluting substances. According to IMO emission prerequisites, LNG is a potential substitute due to its negligible sulfur content and low production of NOx, contrary to fuel oil and marine diesel oil. LNG is clean-burning fuel coupled with financial points of interest on a calorific value basis among other fuels.
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The International Maritime Organization’s regulations of the sulfur cap of 0.50% m/m (mass/mass) in 2020 for marine fuels, increase in ocean-borne trade, especially in ton-km traveled. The lower cost of LNG bunker fuel than other variants of ECA-compliant fuels are the factors that drive the growth of the global LNG bunkering market. However, the demand-supply gap for LNG bunkering is expected to increase with the implementation of IMO regulations; hence, supply must expand rapidly to meet global demand and premium-priced Asia-Pacific demand in particular. On the contrary, an increase in investment and financing toward LNG bunkering is expected to create opportunities for key players in the LNG bunkering market during the forecast period.
The global LNG bunkering market is segmented based on product type, application, and region. Depending on product type, the market is categorized into truck-to-ship, port-to-ship, ship-to-ship, and portable tanks. The applications covered in the study include container fleet, tanker fleet, cargo fleet, ferries, inland vessels, and others. Region-wise, it is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Middle East & Africa.
Global LNG Bunkering Market Dynamics
Drivers: IMO regulation on sulfur content in the marine fuel
HFO and MDO are used as fuels in most generators and engines used in the marine fleet. These fuels are manufactured from crude oil, which is a nonrenewable fossil fuel. The IMO has permitted a global sulfur cap of 0.5% on marine fuels starting from January 1, 2020, scaling down from the current cap of 3.5%. The lower sulfur cap is expected to considerably impact the global refining and shipping industries due to stringent environmental policies to reduce marine pollution.
The lower sulfur cap regulation in bunker fuel is expected to reduce marine pollution, which led to an increase in demand for cleaner bunker fuels among the shipping companies. The 2020 date is subject to the review of the required availability of marine bunker fuel. Therefore, LNG bunkering is considered feasible alternatives to diversify and secure fuel consumption in various end-use industries. Thus, there will be an increase in demand for LNG bunkering from the shipping industry as it ensures increased environmental performance of marine trade, including decreased greenhouse emissions.
Restraints: Demand–supply gap for LNG bunkering
LNG marine bunker clients need supply certainty and resilient supply chains. Conversely, suppliers need to check on their investment ventures and the capital required for supplying LNG bunkers in the market. This stalemate has led to a lack of action, with shipping majors and LNG suppliers hesitating to make major investments until the other side shows commitment. Pricing remains an unknown variable at this point, and the market is rather opaque for LNG trading, with buyers and sellers dealing directly with each other for cargo trades. Current LNG bunkering operations are limited to short-sea vessels. As demand evolves for LNG as bunker fuel, port authorities must pay more attention to the economics and supply availability of LNG, two of the biggest challenges for the LNG bunkering market.
Opportunities: LNG breakbulk services opportunities
Breakbulk shipping is used to transport cargo or goods, which cannot be fit into standard shipping containers. Breakbulk goods include reels & rolls, structural steel, heavy or oversized goods, construction equipment, wind turbine structures, and vehicles. LNG breakbulk service is part of the growth of the small-scale LNG sector by offering storage, breakbulk, and reload services.
Breakbulk shipping offers benefits such as transportability for non-containerized goods, minimized deconstruction time, smaller port reachability, and others. Breakbulk services bifurcate large-scale LNG shipments into smaller ones. The use of LNG as bunker fuel in this breakbulk shipping is expected to grow significantly, followed by the introduction of stringent government regulations toward marine pollution. In addition, the rise in investment toward the development of port infrastructure to provide LNG breakbulk shipping services is expected to create opportunities for key players in this market.
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Scope of the Report
The study categorizes the LNG bunkering market based on product type, application, and regions.
By Product Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)
- Portable Tanks
By Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)
- Container Fleet
- Tanker Fleet
- Cargo Fleet
- Inland Vessels
By Region Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2017-2027)
- North America (US, Canada, Mexico)
- South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Rest of Latin America)
- Europe (Germany, Italy, France, UK, Spain, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Rest of Europe)
- Asia Pacific (China, Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia & New Zealand, Rest of Asia Pacific)
- The Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Africa, Northern Africa, Rest of MEA)
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Ship-to-ship, by product type, is accounted for the largest market share in 2020
On the basis of product type, the global LNG bunkering market is classified into truck-to-ship, port-to-ship, ship-to-ship, and portable tanks. In 2020, the Ship-to-ship segment had the largest market revenue share of 60.52% and had a CAGR of 45.4% during the forecast period, 2021-2027. It is a type of bunkering in which an LNG bunkering vessel supplies LNG to an LNG-fueled vessel. This can be achieved in various places, like at anchor or along the quay or pier. Bunkering may also be performed effectively simultaneously as the vessel receiving LNG performs simultaneous cargo operations, depending on the port restrictions. Ship-to-ship operations are feasible for any vessel. The first ship bunkering using liquefied natural gas took place in the European port of Gothenburg in 2017.
The key factor driving the market growth includes the rise in the number of ships using LNG due to the need for cleaner fuel complying with strict government regulations to minimize air pollution and preserve sustainability. In addition, due to advantages such as fast transfer operations and a high capacity of 700-7500 tons, the ship-to-ship LNG bunkering segment is expected to witness substantial revenue growth during the forecast period. Moreover, LNG-powered ships can save approximately 25.0% of their overall fuel costs.
Asia Pacific accounts for the highest CAGR during the forecast period in the LNG bunkering market
Based on region, the global LNG bunkering market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, and the Middle East & Africa. The Asia Pacific has a growth rate of 44.1% during the forecast period. 2021-2027. The Asia-Pacific LNG bunkering market is analyzed across Japan, China, India, Australia, and the rest of Asia Pacific. In addition, the rapid surge in maritime trading activities across Asia-Pacific propels the growth of the LNG bunkering market. Asia-Pacific is one of the most prominent markets for LNG bunker fuel. The prime commodity consumption centers in the world currently lie in this region. The Singapore Port in Asia-Pacific is now one of the largest ports in the world in terms of volumes of bunker fuel traded.
The rise in shipbuilding and infrastructure activities and rapid growth in the trade of essential goods, commodities, and others are expected to drive the development of the LNG bunkering market in the region. In addition, restrictions on the high sulfur content in the marine bunker fuel imposed by International Maritime Organization (IMO2020) is expected to drive the demand for very low sulfur content fuel oils during the forecast period. It is expected that very low sulfur fuel oil or low sulfur alternatives like LNG will substitute the high sulfur fuel oil during the analyzed time frame. Moreover, a rise in awareness and stringent government regulations toward environmental pollution is expected to increase the demand for LNG (as bunker fuel), which will create opportunities for the key players in this market in the upcoming years.
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Key Market Players
The global LNG bunkering market analysis covers in-depth information of the major industry participants. The key players operating and profiled in the report include Broadview Energy Total SE, Solutions B.V., Harvey Gulf International Marine, Crowley Maritime Corporation, Gasum Oy, Klaw LNG, Korea Gas Corporation, Polskie LNG S.A., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, SHV Energy, PETRONAS, and Exxon Mobil Corporation. Other players operating in the value chain of the global LNG bunkering market are ENN Energy Holdings, Ltd., Fjord Line, Gas Natural Fenosa, Eagle LNG, EVOL LNG, Statoil ASA, and others.
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