VTG, Brunsbuttel Ports target LNG infrastructure development
VTG Aktiengesellschaft said it signed an agreement with Brunsbüttel Ports, in which they reaffirmed their commitment to the promising and environmentally-friendly energy source, liquefied natural gas.
Both companies have been actively involved with LNG for some time now. Brunsbüttel Ports has been pressing ahead with plans for an LNG terminal in Brunsbüttel, while VTG has developed and is building two tank wagon prototypes for transporting LNG.
VTG is building two prototypes to transport LNG by rail with its Czech partner, Chart Ferox. In this process, VTG is responsible for the development and completion of the wagons (including authorization and placing in service), and Chart Ferox is constructing the tank. The cryogenic LNG can potentially remain in the tank wagon for up to six weeks. Particular development effort was required for a unique suspension technique between the tank and the underframe, together with the complex dynamic und vibration calculation tests performed by VTG and Chart Ferox.
As an additional safety measure, the tank wagons are being equipped with 25t wheelsets instead of the 22.5t which is legally required and a GPS monitoring option for the tank.
Two tank wagons on the tracks replace four trucks or five tank containers on the road. This means less traffic jams, less environmental pollution and lower costs.
Brunsbüttel – The prime location for LNG
Plans for the LNG terminal in Brunsbüttel consist of three components: an LNG tank at the site can supply LNG to the maritime transport sector as an alternative fuel; supplies can go to regional and national industry and additionally be used as a nationwide alternative gas supply.
In addition to supplying LNG to the maritime sector, LNG has aroused particular interest in Brunsbüttel’s local industry because of new environmental directives for ship exhaust gasses. Forecasts have indicated that the demand for gas in the Brunsbüttel industrial area will considerably increase over the next years.
The Brunsbüttel industrial sector can thereby guarantee the basic operating rate of an LNG terminal. Nevertheless, a Germany-wide supply of LNG is necessary in order for it to become an established alternative to pipelines. A direct LNG supply to industrial companies covering longer distances could be carried out from Brunsbüttel with the VTG LNG tank wagons, VTG said in a statement.
In view of the growing uncertainty over long-term gas supplies due to the Ukraine crisis, an LNG terminal in Brunsbüttel could also be used as a strategic gas reserve. Alternative and, in particular, more independent gas supply concepts have to be taken into account in future.
Locational factors make Brunsbüttel the ideal site for Germany’s first LNG terminal, stands in the VTG statement. Situated at the intersection between the river Elbe and the Kiel Canal, Brunsbüttel offers a strategically advantageous location to supply ships with LNG. In regard to supplying the industrial sector, large-scale quantity buyers are already based there and supplying across Europe could efficiently be performed by way of a railway connection.
Press Release; Image: VTG