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Retrofitting Towards a Greener Marine Shipping Future: Reassembling Ship Fuels and Liquefied Natural Gas in Norway


The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions has entered regulatory agendas in shipping. In Norway, a debate has been ongoing for over a decade about whether liquefied natural gas (LNG) ship fuel enables or impedes the transition to a greener future for shipping. This paper explores the assembling of ship fuel before and after the introduction of a controversial carbon tax on LNG. It reconstructs how changes in the regulatory apparatus prompted the reworking of natural gas into a ship fuel, yet later slowed down the development of LNG in a strategy to promote alternative zero-emission fuels such as hydrogen. Following ship fuel as socio-materiality in motion, we find that fossil fuels are reworked into new modes of application as part of transition policies. Natural gas continues to be enacted as an “enabler of transition” in the context of shipping, given that current government policies work to support the production of hydrogen from natural gas and carbon capture and storage (CCS). New modes of accounting for emissions reassemble existing fossil fuel materiality by means of CCS and fossil-based zero-emission fuels. We examine retrofit as a particular kind of reassembling and as a prism for studying the politics of fuel and the relation between transitions and existing infrastructures.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Norway

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