It looks like the Russian attack on Ukraine will have a significant effect on the future of how the world’s gas supplies are distributed. It will likely also initiate a rethink about the pace at which fossil fuels are replaced by cleaner, greener alternatives.
Pipelines within a single nation are probably as safe and secure as a tanker that plies the seas. They can both still experience problems. A pipeline that crosses other nations means the end user has no control over parts of it, which is plain to see in the current crisis.
Even if the war is over quickly and in a friendly way, surely governments will have to re-think the wisdom of some present day energy supply scenarios.
Nuclear power stations have had a very varied history, mainly due to factors including safety, cost and long term waste disposal/storage. They have now come to the fore again in the UK as potentially becoming the preferred fuel to supply 25% of the UK’s electricity by 2050, up from 16% now, apparently.
Opening up mothballed oil wells and even some coal mines has also been mooted but the Eco-friendly brigade will fight tooth and nail to stop that from becoming a reality.
At Solar Solve we are great fans of BRL Shipping Consultants and especially Barry Luthwaite’s Weekly Newbuilding Contracts report.
In yesterday’s report there was already a reference to some shipowners who had been sitting on gas carrier options, converting them into firm orders.
There was also a reference to some new orders just placed for LNG carriers, as being for 200,000 cubic metres vessels. They are currently the largest on order and due to be delivered in the second half of 2025.
I am constantly in awe of the skills and expertise of the naval architects, ship designers and shipbuilders who create these behemoths as well as the designers and builders of the powerplants that drive them. Just when you think they have reached the maximum possible…….. along comes a bigger one.
John Lightfoot, MBE, CMarEng, FIMarEST, Fellow South Shields Marine School
Solar Solve Chairman