The first advantage of LNG is that is environmentally friendly compared to its counterparts like oil fuels. The use of LNG will reduce the emissions of sulphur oxide by 90-95%. With this reduction it is also compliant to the IMO 2020 regulations. In addition to a reduction in sulphur oxide emissions, the carbon dioxide emissions are also reduced in the region of 20-25%. However, a downside is present which is the slight increase in methane.
In recent years, the high capital investment related to building an LNG vessel or retrofitting an existing vessel has been a hurdle for shipowners. However due to technology improvements and new building experience, shipyards can build, retrofit and service LNG vessels at greater speeds as well as at lower price. LNG fuelled ships and the equipment supplied with this require less maintenance and have greater durability and hence the cost of getting these ships serviced would be cheaper.
Furthermore, this is enforced by the fact that LNG is the most financially effective long term means of complying with the IMO 2020 regulations. In addition, the cost of LNG is a lot more stable when compared to other maritime fuels which allows shipowners to comfortably estimate the cost of running LNG fuelled ships. It is also important to note that LNG has been consistently less expensive than High Sulfur Fuel Oil (HSFO) and considerably cheaper than the higher price of Low Sulfur Fuel Oil (LSFO).
References: LNG for 2020: IMO Sulfur Limits and the LNG Alternative, Costs and Benefits of LNG as Ship Fuel for Container Vessels, LNG AS A MARINE FUEL – THE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY