The relative price of greener fuel, particularly methanol, will be lower than the cost of fossil fuels by 2025, according to the latest report by UK-based Longspur Capital.
This significant change in price will be a result of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), the FuelEU Maritime initiative, and the Energy Taxation directive.
According to the calculations in the report, traditionally-fuelled vessels will be at a significant disadvantage compared to vessels powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) by 2025, although this could depend on whether a ship is operating on high-pressure engines, like the latest Zim newbuildings which have a much lower emissions than low pressure engines such as those operated by CMA CGM.
High-pressure units will emit up to 14g of carbon equivalent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared with the worst performing low-pressure engines, on a well-to-wake basis. These are mainly methane emissions, which is a GHG up to 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
FuelEU requirements will see a 2% cut in emissions by 2025, rising to 6% by 2030, 20% by 2035 and to 80% by 2050.
In 2025, following the introduction of emissions reduction, the cost of low-sulphur fuel is set at €130/MWh, while LNG is €92/MWh and methanol is €244/MWh. However, with the inclusion of methane slip and other methane emissions from the production and fuel transport process, the picture is substantially altered.
When including methane slip, the report says: “LNG starts to trigger FuelEU thresholds much earlier and, at the high point, will see LNG triggering the 2025 threshold. On that basis, methanol looks cheaper by comparison in all years.”