A dual perspective on the LNG maritime business: LNG as shipping cargo and LNG as a ship fuel

Date: 17 December 2014

Venue: University of Antwerp, Promotiezaal Grauwzusters - Lange Sint-Annastraat 7 - 2000 Antwerp

PhD candidate: Siyuan Wang

Principal investigator: Prof. dr. Theo Notteboom

Short description: PhD defense Siyuan Wang - Faculty of Applied Economics

Abstract: Against the backdrop of fast growth of world LNG (Liquefied natural gas) trade and its associated shipping market, the doctoral dissertation provides an in-depth study on a dual perspective on the LNG maritime business which currently presents fast emerging pace but has attracted less academic attention. One perspective focuses on the development of the LNG shipping market. In this market, LNG is treated as shipping cargo transported by specialized carriers. The other perspective refers to a new LNG application in the shipping industry, namely the use of LNG as a ship fuel. The two perspectives accordingly structured the thesis into two parts. However, although the two LNG maritime businesses have been separately discussed, they are strongly interacted by the growth of the LNG industry.
The first part of the thesis consists of three chapters. Chapter one serving as a general background for the whole thesis provides an overview on how world LNG shipping has developed over the last decade. The second chapter further explores the unique features of the LNG shipping market in terms of shipowners' structure and fleet distribution. In chapter three, a strategic analysis has been performed to examine why independent shipowners have been growing fast and what kind of shipping strategies employed by them makes the evolution happen.
Chapters four and five form the second part of the thesis which places the study focus on a new LNG application in the shipping industry, i.e. the adoption of LNG as a marine fuel. Chapter four provides a much broader understanding of the current perspectives and challenges for the use of LNG as a ship fuel through a systematic review to synthesize the findings of 33 published studies on the concerned topic. Also, the study identifies some literature gaps which could suggest future research. In order to fill one of the identified gaps, chapter five performs a further research to explore the role of port authorities in the development of LNG bunkering facilities and to investigate why and how port authorities promote this new application.