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Maersk Looks to LNG as New Energy Source

LNG could become the future fuel for Maersk Line. The group is currently negotiating the possibility of using the liquid natural gas with Russian energy giant Gazprom.

"We're always evaluating the next challenge for shipping, and with IMO's work toward new environmental legislation, we're naturally looking for a solution to these challenges. So we're in continuous talks with a wide range of potential future partners," says Louise Münter, head of communications at A.P. Moeller-Maersk. "LNG is one of several possible alternative solutions going forward, and it's only natural for us to evaluate and discuss these solutions with potential partners and suppliers, such as Gazprom."

The future requirements for the shipping industry's sulfur emissions mean that shipping will have to make a decision soon in order to comply with the increasing exhaust regulations. These include the so-called ECA zones, where ships will have to sail on fuel with reduced sulfur contents or clean their emissions significantly. The zone has already come into effect off the coast of North America, while both the Baltic Sea and the North Sea will become ECA zones from January 2015.

In these zones, ships are barred from sailing on fuel with more than 0.10 percent sulfur, a fact forcing shipping companies in the various regions to change their current operations, not least adding extra strain to their finances. Right now there are three possible ways of complying with the regulations: installing scrubbers to clean the exhaust from the ships, use liquid natural gas, or switching to the more expensive marine gas oil in the ECA zones.

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