© Tom Arnbom / WWF-Canada

WWF urges leading shipping companies to move to LNG

6 December 2017

Russia Shipping Oil and gas Barents Sea Beaufort, Bering & Chukchi Seas

The position was presented by WWF-Russia at the "Transport of Russia" international forum in Moscow. Heads of key ministries and leading Russian transport companies took part in the plenary.

Addressing the guests, Evgeny Shvarts, Director for Conservation Policy of WWF-Russia noted that LNG has major advantages over oil fuels currently used by Arctic vessels.

"Refusal of oil fuel will reduce emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere by hundreds of thousands of tons: sulfur oxides and nitrogen, black carbon and others. This is especially important in conditions of rapidly growing cargo turnover on the Northern Sea Route, which will reach 100 million tons by the year 2030," explained Shvarts. "In addition, the shift to LNG can solve the problem of emergency oil spills in the Russian Arctic once and for all."

The initiative to transfer ships operating in the Arctic from heavy fuel to more environmentally friendly LNG was put forward by WWF in 2016. Russian President's envoy for environmental protection, ecology and transport issues Sergey Ivanov and Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Sergey Donskoy has already expressed support for this direction.

At present, LNG production projects are being actively developed in the Arctic, along the all Northern coast from Arkhangelsk to Yakutia and Chukotka. In fact, LNG can be recognized as a local fuel.

"At the same time, it is important that not only shipping companies take the course for modernization under LNG, but also that oil and gas companies that implement LNG projects in the Arctic include supply of gas to the domestic market for bunkering in their business strategies," adds Alexeу Knizhnikov, Extractive Industries Environmental Policy Officer for WWF-Russia. "The Russian Arctic LNG pioneer "Yamal LNG" could become the first company to undertake such obligations."