The near-term prospects for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the aviation sector will be a subject of discussion at next month’s Australian Gas Technology Conference (AGT) in Perth.
English aeronautical engineer and a senior lecturer at the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at RMIT University in Melbourne, Dr Graham Dorrington believes that introducing LNG to Australia’s aviation industry will ensure airline market growth, potentially reduce passenger ticket prices, and result in an immediate 20% reduction in carbon emissions.
With the use of LNG as a transport fuel growing rapidly in the road transport, railway and maritime sectors, Dr Dorrington is convinced that the commercial use of LNG in the aviation industry may not be far off.
He explains that airline profitability is currently suffering from high kerosene prices and any further increase in kerosene prices could prevent airline market growth or even cause contraction. Substantial changes in airport infrastructure will be required to supply LNG at airports, although that is also a major opportunity.
Though airfield-supply prices of aviation quality LNG are likely to be comparable with current kerosene prices initially, the supply price will fall, not rise with time. Consequently, introducing LNG as aviation fuel will help to ensure airline market growth, which is ultimately linked with the potential for reduced passenger ticket prices.
Dr Dorrington adds that introducing LNG to the aviation industry would also result in an immediate 20% reduction in carbon emissions, as well as useful reductions in NOx.
Dr Dorrington also observes that there are no unrealistic technical challenges preventing the commercial use of LNG in the air transport sector and commercial operations could feasibly begin before 2020.
Dr Dorrington’s presentation will be just one of the highlights of the AGT Conference, which will feature a packed two-day program exploring the theme of challenges, innovation and transformation in Australia’s $200 billion LNG industry.
Western Australia’s premier gas technology event will be held at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Perth from 1 to 3 July.