LNG can be used as a marine and Heavy Good Vehicle (HGV) fuel, and as a source of energy. In the latter case, the cryogenic LNG is heated and transformed from a liquefied into a gaseous aggregate state. It can then be stored in the gas transmission network. When converted back into gas (regasification), LNG offers a useful alternative to pipeline gas that diversifies suppliers and therefore prevents the dependency on a small set of supplying countries.
LNG’s second use is as an HGV and marine fuel mainly because of its low content of air pollutants: compared to conventional, oil-based fuels, the use of LNG generates no fine particles or sulphur dioxide (SOx), and produces up to 85% less nitrogen oxide (NOx). Therefore, using LNG as a marine fuel can make a significant contribution to improving the air quality in seaports, coastal regions and along inland waterways.
LNG can also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 20% (with an optimised supply chain). However, the use of LNG — and thus the choice of fuel — is only one tool in a series of actions to increase sustainability in the transport sector.
LNG-powered engines are also considerably quieter, which means that LNG fuel can help reduce noise in port areas, along thoroughfares and in inner city centres.