Korea's LPG industry, which is suffering from sluggish sales due to the declining demand for liquefied natural gas as an automobile fuel, is looking to find a breakthrough in shipbuilding.
According to industry sources on June 18, the LPG association and General Electric have completed the process of having a classification society to review the safety of a ferry using LPG fuel. The new ship development process consists of R&D, design, a classification society's safety review, and newbuilding contract.
The LPG association and GE plan to establish the standard for ship construction by the end of this year and launch operations of LPG ships from 2019. LPG ships would emit sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides about 90-97 percent and 15-20 percent lower than existing ships using bunker C oil.
Given that the International Maritime Organization decided to greatly lower the sulfur cap on marine fuels from less than 3.5 percent to less than 0.5 percent from 2020, the demand for LPG ships which would have lower emissions, would likely to increase fast.