Engine developer WinGD, engineering firm Gaztransport and Technigaz (GTT), and technology group Wärtsilä have joined forces to support ship owners and operators on the efficient use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel.

Under the collaboration, the companies will combine their expertise to provide a streamlined approach for ship owners to abide by environmental legislation.

LNG contains negligible sulphur content, while it generates 80% less nitrogen oxide (NOx) and 30% less carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions compared to conventional marine fuels.

LNG has also emerged as a feasible ‘green’ fuel option, owing to its increasing availability.

WinGD Sales and Marketing vice-president Rolf Stiefel said: “High-efficiency and environmental sustainability are key pillars in building a successful future for shipping.

“This is why it’s so important to work together with other industry leaders to make ship propulsion as efficient and ‘green’ as possible.”

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Last year, CMA CGM placed an order for nine 22,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) containerships, which will be powered by LNG-fuelled engines.

“The conservative barriers that once resisted switching to a ‘new’ fuel are falling down, and LNG is now being accepted as a fuel for all types of ships.”

The vessels are said to be the first ships of this kind and size to operate on LNG and will be equipped with technologies from WinGD, Wärtsilä, and GTT.

Wärtsilä Processing Solutions vice-president Timo Koponen said: “There is a wind of change blowing throughout the global marine industry.

“The conservative barriers that once resisted switching to a ‘new’ fuel are falling down, and LNG is now being accepted as a fuel for all types of ships. Through collaboration with other industry leaders, we aim to speed this process.”

In December, Wärtsilä signed a cooperation agreement with GTT to explore potential business opportunities in the LNG storage, fuel gas supply systems, and related services.