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Julius Okechukwu Anyanwu and Chinedum Onyemechi
As the worldwide shipping continue to face numerous challenges, recent policies will meaningfully limit the extent of sulfur Oxides emissions from vessels, these include North America and northern Europe. Liquefied Natural Gas is a possible solution for attaining these requirements. This is due to its practically no sulfur content with its combustion producing very low NOx compared to conventional fuel oil and marine diesel oil. Liquefied Natural Gas is cleaner - burning, and also economic advantageous over other marine fuels. Due to these scenarios and results, there have been recent developments to encourage use of Liquefied Natural Gas as a bunker fuel. This research work therefore is on espousing Liquefied Natural Gas as marine propulsion fuel: prospects and challenges. Specific objectives in line with the broad objective were formed while hypotheses and research questions were also formulated in consonance with the objective of the study. Literature was reviewed to address objectives and the research questions. Statistical data were also extracted from different global marine companies. Expo facto research design and survey research were used in this study. The data collected were used to test the four hypotheses using appropriate statistical tool for each hypothesis. The statistical tools include Regression (Time Series Analysis), Cost Benefit Analysis (Net Present Value- NPV), Factor Benefit Analysis (Kaiser's Measure of Sampling Adequacy) and the Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation coefficient (PPMCC). The results of the analyses showed that LNG is highly significant with time while MDO and IFO are not significant with time. This study further revealed that the major factor influencing the adoption of LNG as marine propulsion fuel is not the factor influencing IFO and MDO marine fuels. It also showed that the cost-benefit of espousing Liquefied Natural Gas as a marine fuel is better than cost benefit of espousing MDO and IFO, it also revealed that there is a relationship between espousing LNG fuel and its associated challenges which include initial high cost of investments in infrastructures, cost of LNG vessels among others. The study concluded that Liquefied Natural Gas should be adopted as a marine fuel. The study therefore recommended that the use of Liquefied Natural Gas as marine fuel should be encouraged by all vessels to ensure emission compliance and that strict regulation should also be enforced to checkmate violators of emission regulations among other recommendations.