(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) The future of LNG as a viable and sustainable alternative marine fuel for working vessels is one of the most eagerly-anticipated sessions taking place at Middle East Workboats 2011, the definitive event for workboat operators, builders and equipment suppliers.
Taking place from 3-5 October, 2011 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, the conference features a high profile line-up of regional maritime services experts who will examine the technical and environmental challenges facing the industry.
Andrew Brown, Business Development Director for the Lamnalco Group, the leading provider of safe and efficient towage and associated marine services to the oil and gas terminal industry, will lead a session on ¿LNG Marine Fuel - the Future'.
"The potential for LNG as a suitable fuel alternative is a much-debated issue right now, and has been trialed both in Norway for its ferries, and in Bangkok for the river boat taxi network. We will examine the challenges faced by the workboat community in using LNG, and the next steps - and research - needed to make this a practical reality for our sector," said Brown.
With environmental safety concerns a major red flag in the future adoption of LNG as a reliable marine fuel, Brown will also address the infrastructure, health and safety challenges lying in the path of industry-wide implementation.
"The handling of LNG and understanding of thermal dynamics, as well as spillage management, are crucial areas that need to be addressed by engine manufacturers. There's also the fundamental issue of retrofits or upgrades for tug engines, which require new health and safety focused design," remarked Brown.
"This is compounded by the possibility of future oversupply to the industry, with too many liquefaction plants and not enough re-gasification plants plus carrier over-capacity. And, although it is unlikely that prices will fall dramatically, as LNG is still indexed to oil, it is possible that they may separate in the future," he added.
The Middle East Workboats showcase offers a platform for the region's leading maritime services experts and operators to debate the key issues impacting future sector development during two dedicated full morning sessions, followed by hosted technical seminars each afternoon.
"Together with our steering group committee - a team of respected industry specialists that have worked with us on an advisory basis for the past three years - we have developed a compelling conference programme that is designed to address the key issues that are prevalent in the industry today," said Chris Hayman, Chairman, of organisers Seatrade.
A line-up of top industry professionals will be speaking this year's event.
In addition to the highly anticipated conference programme, Middle East Workboats 2011 will also host a series of interactive industry-led Round Table sessions, as well as an all-new Industry Question Time where industry students will have the opportunity to challenge a panel of experts on the global issues facing the maritime services sector.