Thursday, April 12, 2018

Freight Trucks and Merchant Ships to Benefit from LNG Refuelling Capability at Antwerp Quayside

Investment in Infrastructure as Road Haulage and Ocean Cargo Sectors Move to Gas
Shipping News Feature
BELGIUM – Ocean shipping lines and road haulage freight operators look set to benefit as Fluxys, a company specialising in the transfer of gases for fuel, has taken over the concession in the Port of Antwerp at quays 526-528 to make liquefied natural gas (LNG) available as an alternative fuel for ships and barges, in one of the Port Authority's key initiatives to make the port's activities more sustainable. Fluxys will add a permanent LNG bunkering facility by the end of next year to complement the existing mobile (truck-to-ship) bunkering service.

For ships and heavy duty trucks, LNG is considered by many as the ideal alternative in the transition to lower greenhouse gas emissions and better air quality, particularly popular in the light of incoming regulations under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the demands of urban centres. Switching to LNG immediately cuts emissions of sulphur and particulate matter to negligible levels, while emissions of nitrogen oxides are dramatically reduced and carbon emissions significantly lowered.

Already owning and operating Zeebrugge LNG terminal, which it describes as ‘the Gateway to LNG supply in North-Western Europe’ the company also holds a 25% stake in the new Dunkirk LNG terminal, alongside EDF (65%) and Total (10%). Fluxys is also a partner in Gaz-Opale, a joint venture with the owner of the Dunkirk LNG terminal to operate the facilities.

As regards the Antwerp development, over the next year and a half Fluxys will construct at quays 526-528 the infrastructure needed for barges and smaller seagoing ships to fill up with LNG at a permanent facility with LNG storage. For this purpose the company is working closely with G&V Energy Group, which will also build an LNG filling station for road haulage trucks on the same site.

Fluxys already enables barges and smaller seagoing ships to bunker LNG smoothly and flexibly 24/7 using LNG tanker trucks, a procedure known as truck-to-ship bunkering. Captains as well as LNG suppliers can reserve a slot using the online platform to moor at quay 526-528 and take on LNG.

In order to provide LNG bunkering in the port of Antwerp, companies must have a permit from the Antwerp Harbourmaster's Office. The ports of Antwerp, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, Bremen, Le Havre and Marseille are currently collaborating under the auspices of the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) to develop a suitable accreditation process, known as the LNG Accreditation Audit Tool. The first draft of this international safety standard was welcomed enthusiastically this month in Amsterdam by a broad group of stakeholders.