Island Crusader is a ten-year-old supply ship weighing 8,500 tonnes with full cargo, owned by shipowner Island Offshore. To date, the ship has run on LNG, with peak emissions equivalent to 2,000 fossil cars. In November 2021, the ship logged its first voyage with net zero emissions.

We reduced the use of LNG, and thus emissions from fossil fuels, by 50 percent during the first two months, and our experience with the use of biogas is unequivocally positive.

Tommy Walaunet, CEO of Island Offshore Management, AS

CO2 emissions halved in two months

Island Crusader is usually operated with LNG, but as a pilot project, one of two tanks is now filled with biogas. Experience has so far shown no technical challenges with the use of biogas, and it will in practice be possible to fill both tanks with biogas. “We reduced the use of LNG, and thus emissions from fossil fuels, by 50 percent during the first two months, and our experience with the use of biogas is unequivocally positive,” says Tommy Walaunet, CEO of Island Offshore Management AS.

From 15 October 2021 to 31 January 2022, the reduction in CO2 was as much as 635 tonnes.

Great potential for biogas in the oil and gas industry

Lundin Energy Norway is in charge of the pilot, which has made Island Crusader the world’s first carbon neutral supply ship.

“There is a significant potential for the use of biogas in the oil and gas industry, but also other areas where LNG vessels are used,” says Johan Mohr, head of procurement and logistics at Lundin Energy Norway.

At present, biogas plants are being built around Norway, and fuel availability is increasing. Nevertheless, there are still challenges associated with both access and logistics.

“The advantage of biogas is that we have a zero-emission alternative we can put right in the tanks, without modifying either machinery or ships.”

In the long run, Mohr hopes that the pilot project can help open up new market segments for biogas producers.

As the market grows and production volume increases, profitability can also improve, and biogas can become a more attractive fuel for shipping.

“As of now, it is not economical, the benefit is purely environmental. Biogas is much more expensive than both diesel and LNG. Lundin has invested heavily in ensuring the lowest possible emissions. Initially, this is a pilot project, and then we will see where this leads us. So far, at least, it is looking very positive,” Walaunet concludes.