Natural gas (LNG) for ship propulsion

Between 2010-2012,  Navalprogetti was involved in an European industrial research project regarding the use of LNG as fuel, called NGShiP.  NG Ship is one of the first industrial projects  to develop an environmentally friendly ship, fuelled by LNG (Liquified Natural Gas).  This system can both decrease the emissions released in the atmosphere and ensure economic benefits.


This project has produced a cost effectiveness and feasibility study for an LNG fuelled propulsion and generation system on a handysize, long-range cargo ship.  The technical solutions identified can also be applied to new or retrofitted vessels.

The installation of such a system provides plenty of benefits:

  • Gas emissions reduced
  • -25% CO2 emissions
  • -85% NOx emissions
  • zero emission of SOx and particulates
  • Unrestricted sailing in the ECA zones (Emission Control Area)

Savings on ship operating costs

Using LNG, together with some other innovative solutions for energy efficiency, can cut operating costs up to 40% compared to the use of low sulphur content fuels.  The payback period for the investment (plant, machinery installation, maintenance and fuel included) for a handysize, LNG fuelled engine tanker, is just three years.

Longer endurance

Due to an innovative system for the utilization and managment of BOG (Boil Off Gas) and from the arrangement on board of  a Type B tank , the sailing endurance of the ship is greatly improved compared to existing vessels powered  by LNG .

Greater energy efficiency thanks to Fuel Cells

Fuel Cells (FCs), fuelled by BOG (Boil Off Gas), allow a steady use of otherwise unexploited energy flows, enabling a further increase of energy efficiency.

Moreover, FCs do not use combustion so they have  a low environmental impact of noxious gas emissions. This process  can satisfy the ship’s energy needs, both at sea and in port, without having generators in use.

Reduced emissions in ports

An electrochemical power storage system made up of high performance lithium batteries and combined with Fuel Cells, increases the vessel’s reliability, reduces emissions in port and at sea  and provides the necessary energy during transient conditions.

For more details visit the project website