WLPGA panel: Marine segments primed for LPG engine fuel

December 19, 2022 By    

One year after hosting a webinar about the growth potential for propane-fueled marine engines and the vessels they power, the World LPG Association (WLPGA) took to the digital space again with a marine fuel webinar about opportunities beyond LPG carriers.

While carriers have served as a target segment for LPG, the webinar, hosted by WLPGA and Anova, showcased other segments within the boating and shipping industry primed for LPG engine fuel.

A real-time poll asked participants to choose their top three segments in which LPG held a promising future. Fishing boats and fleets topped the list, followed by small coastal vessels and container ships. Also securing votes were leisure boats, roll-on/roll-off cargo ships, bulk carriers and cruise ships, respectively.

The use of LPG in the marine segment “is all about the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” says Neil Murphy, vice president of business development at UGI International and the chair of WLPGA’s innovation and growth goal, acknowledging LPG’s ability to power vessels currently as a conventional fuel and possibly in the future with blends.

The webinar featured a six-person panel that included marine experts optimistic about the future of LPG.

The popular fishing boats segment, composed of smaller engines, received positive reviews from Suyash Gupta, founder and managing director of CleanFuel India Autogas. He says running marine outboards on LPG is a game-changer for the industry while changing the lives of fishermen.

“It’s environmentally friendly and extremely economical to run marine outboards on LPG,” Gupta says.

IndianOil facilitated trials of LPG outboards – with 9.9- and 15-horsepower engines from the U.S. – on the southern coast of India. Fueling with LPG reduced fishing expenses by almost 60 percent and provided thousands of dollars in savings.

The panel also included a manufacturer of engines propelling larger vessels as well as a gas ship operator. 

Hrishikesh Chatterjee of MAN Energy Solutions calls LPG-fueled engines a proven technology; he reports company sales of 126 engines and shares proof of retrofit opportunities. Iason Hatzakis of Thenamaris LNG says he’s drawn to LPG’s availability, energy density and familiarity.

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748.

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