Experts say a protracted downturn in China’s river cargo-shipping industry has dashed Beijing’s hopes of building 60,000 LNG-fuelled ships by 2020, as shipowners battling soft demand and overcapacity lose what little interest they had in converting fleets to burn LNG.
China currently has just 139 LNG-fuelled ships, 102 of which are newbuilds and 37 retrofitted diesel vessels, according to data from the Ministry of Transport’s Waterborne Transport Research Institute. Nearly 100 of the 139 ships are operational, according to Sheng Sujian, vice manager of the LNG-fuelled project team at China National Offshore Oil Corp.’s Energy Technology and Services subsidiary.
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