BW Group is optimistic about LPG as a future fuel to meet tightening emissions regulations, a key executive has said.

BW LNG managing director Yngvil Asheim said LPG has a similar environmental benefit as LNG but does not require the costly cryogenic equipment.

VLGC conversions

"LPG is, in our view, an under-communicated possible future fuel," she said. "LPG is by nature easier to handle than LNG ... We hope it's something that more people will look into."

Her comments on the sidelines of last week’s TradeWinds Shipowners Forum in Oslo came after sister company BW LPG announced plans to convert four VLGCs to run on the fuel.

BW LNG is working closely with its fellow subsidiary of the BW Group on the conversions, which she said would cost an estimated $6m to $9m per vessel.

Many shipowners have cited the economics as the reason they have baulked at using LPG as a fuel to meet the IMO’s sulphur cap, which enters into force on 1 January 2020.

But for Singapore and Oslo-headquartered BW, the figures appear to work out.

"You always have to look at what's your view on the market," she said. "We think it's possible to make an economic story about this."