The Voice of Pontus Berg, Executive Vice President, Technical and Operations, BW LPG
The Voice spoke with Mr Pontus Berg, Executive Vice President, Technical and Operations, BW LPG to hear his thoughts and goals about the future of the LPG industry.
WLPGA: BW LPG has been a pioneer in the LPG for marine sector. Can you take us through your recent achievements and projects?
Pontus Berg: We have been beating the drums rather loudly on our project to retrofit 15 of our Very Large LPG Carriers (VLGCs) with LPG dual-fuel propulsion technology. That was fuelled by one part excitement about pioneering new technology, and many parts conviction that LPG is a logical solution as we transition towards a zero-carbon future. We want to show that LPG is a viable and available cleaner-burning fuel that makes environmental, financial, and economic sense not just for the shipping industry but also for many other industries. With all 15 LPG-powered VLGCs now on water, we have been reaping the rewards from our ambitious retrofitting project. Since the beginning of 2022, we supplied close to 10,000 metric tons of LPG as fuel, saving about US$5.3 million in fuel costs for the fleet. We have also reduced carbon emissions by just over 15% by using LPG as fuel. Our LPG deck tanks complement existing fuel oil bunker capacities and provide us with full fuel and cargo flexibility during operations. We have set up LPG bunker fuel contracts with new and existing partners in major loading ports.
WLPGA: What can we expect from BW LPG in the near future?
Pontus Berg: We recently announced the acquisition of the LPG trading operations from Vilma Oil, and we look forward to integrating the team with our organisation once we receive regulatory approvals. The combined team trades over four million tons of physical LPG last year and we have the capacity to grow further. We continue to evaluate investment opportunities along the LPG value chain. Like with the LPG retrofit programme, there are opportunities that are smarter, less capital intensive and allow us to further strengthen our position in the LPG value chain.
Also, BW LPG will be participating at WLPGA’s upcoming LPG Week in New Delhi from 14th-18th November 2022. We look forward to connecting with our peers, customers, and all stakeholders.
WLPGA: The marine sector is actively reducing emissions in line with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) 2050 regulations. How do you see LPG as a future marine fuel?
Pontus Berg: There is no doubt in my mind that LPG is part of the solution to meet IMO 2050 regulations. But moving the focus beyond regulatory compliance, LPG helps us move a step towards a cleaner future with big reductions in sulphur oxides, particulate matter, and nitrogen oxides. With LPG, output efficiencies can improve by over 10% compared with compliant fuels. This means that we capture significant improvements in total voyage fuel economics. Other efficiencies include easy storage, faster refuelling and wide availability of bunkering ships and facilities. Bunkering can be done directly at load terminal or via ship-to-ship transfer from smaller LPG carrier. With LPG, we also eliminate bunker quality issues and spill risks. There are also fuel savings due to price spreads between LPG and compliant fuels.
WLPGA: As a WLPGA Industry Council member, what are your hopes and goals for the WLPGA moving forward?
Pontus Berg: We wish to thank the WLPGA for flying the LPG banner high, for being generous with your time and support, and for helping us connect with other global LPG players and associations. We look forward to seeing WLPGA advance its reputation as a trusted advocate for the LPG industry.