VDR CEO: Germany needs LNG infrastructure

German Shipowners’ Association (VDR) has welcomed investments in the country’s supply chain logistics as well as the Brunsbüttel terminal project.

This was a result of a discussion between Ralf Nagel, Chief Executive Officer of VDR and Rolf Brouwer, Managing Director of German LNG Terminal GmbH — the company responsible for the development of the LNG terminal in Brunsbüttel.

The duo’s discussion revolved around the status of the terminal project in Brunsbüttel and perspectives for shipping companies and the maritime industry.

“As one of the world’s major shipping nations, Germany needs an LNG infrastructure for its shipping industry to prepare for the upcoming energy transformation,” Nagel pointed out.

“That’s why we welcome projects that quickly become reality, such as the terminal in Brunsbüttel.”

Nagel further said that, from his point of view, LNG was currently the only marketable fuel available with which the maritime industry could approach its climate goals within the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as well as the objectives set for improving air quality. According to him, it is important in the long term that LNG technology will also enable the large-scale use of alternative green gases onboard ships in an environmentally-friendly way.

“A ship’s engine running on oil-based fuels cannot be converted to ‘green gas’ without great effort and expense – but a dual-fuel or LNG-capable engine can,” he explained.

“That’s why we should impartially discuss and carefully weigh up the use of liquefied natural gas to power large sea going vessels – and by all means develop the supply logistics for this at our location.”

“The LNG terminal in Brunsbüttel is an ambitious and forward-looking infrastructure project because natural gas and therefore LNG play an important role in the energy transformation… The planned terminal in Brunsbüttel will be a practical support for introducing more sustainable alternative fuels, especially for shipping traffic,” Brouwer said.

The technology also enables the handling of synthetically-produced and therefore environmentally-friendly LNG.

Specifically, the plan is to work with two special jetties. The one jetty will handle Q-Max tankers ranging between 120 metres and 345 metres in length and with a capacity of about 265,000 cbm LNG, while the other jetty will handle smaller LNG tankers, such as bunker vessels, ranging from 70 metres to 170 metres in length.

The terminal will have a maximum unloading rate of 14,000 cbm/h which means that large ships can be unloaded in approximately 20 hours. Smaller LNG tankers will have correspondingly shorter layovers.

German LNG Terminal GmbH is a joint venture between Dutch companies Gasunie LNG Holding B.V. and Vopak LNG Holding B.V. as well as Germany’s Oiltanking GmbH.

The aim of the joint venture is to build and operate a multifunctional import and distribution terminal for LNG in Northern Germany. The terminal will also provide a wide range of services including the loading and unloading of LNG carriers, the temporary storage of LNG, regasification, feeding natural gas into the German natural gas network, and distribution of LNG via tank trucks and LNG tank cars.

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