Ports Establish LNG Fuelled Vessels Workgroup, Belgium

Ports Establish LNG Fuelled Vessels Workgroup

The shipping industry is showing increased interest in the use of LNG as a fuel for vessels. It is generally expected that by 2015 a number of progressive shipping lines will lead the way and will have LNG-powered vessels in their fleet, presenting a challenge for Ports around the world and shipping lines.

Some vessels today are already LNG-powered and more are on order. According to a recent study from the Danish Maritime Authority the current use of natural gas within the SECA-zone is expected to increase by 140% by 2020, due to the use of LNG as a shipping fuel and usage on land by trucks and busses. LNG offers substantial environmental benefits in comparison to conventional fuels. Sulphur and particle emissions would be reduced to almost zero, nitrogen oxide emissions by 85-90 per cent and net greenhouse gases by 15-20 per cent.

Focusing on the use of LNG as a marine fuel, an “LNG Fuelled Vessels Working Group,”, has been established under the auspices of IAPH’s World Ports Climate Initiative (WPCI). The Working Group is tasked for one to develop guidelines on safe procedures for LNG bunkering operations providing ports around the world with an implementation guideline, if they wish to pursue this technology.

LNG is a clean and cost competitive fuel meeting the upcoming 2015 IMO regulations. LNG is obviously the ship’s fuel of the future and ports are preparing to offer safe storage and bunkering of LNG for shipping lines in or near their port areas.

The Port of Antwerp is chairing this initiative and representatives from the ports of Amsterdam, Bremen/Bremerhaven, Brunsbüttel, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Le Havre, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Rotterdam, Stockholm and Zeebrugge are also active participants in the Working Group. The Working Group maintains close contacts with industry stakeholders currently using and/or handling LNG, as well as government agencies.

The Working Group consists of three sub-Working Groups:

  • LNG Bunkering Checklist
  • LNG Bunkering Risk Perimeters
  • LNG Public Awareness

The “LNG fuelled Vessels” Working group falls under the auspices of the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) and its World Ports Climate Initiative (WPCI) and has a global participation.

LNG World News Staff, March 01, 2013; Image: portofantwerp