PitPoint BV, a Netherlands-based international provider of clean fuels, says that in all future scenarios Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) appears to be a logical alternative for inland navigation: clean, cost-efficient and reliable. Committed to the provision of LNG infrastructure, PitPoint.LNG will open first LNG bunker station in the port of Cologne in 2019.
LNG fits the profile for the long-term investor in waterways newbuilds, able to comply with legislation and regulations effective from 2020 that take emissions reduction to the next limit.
In concrete terms, Stage V emission requirements mean that new inland ships may emit less NOx and particulate matter. For diesel engines, this will require a substantial investment in post-treatment techniques such as catalysts and particulate filters. LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) burns considerably cleaner and produces much lower emissions of hazardous substances. This means that LNG engines already meet the new requirements without post-treatment techniques. Boating on LNG provides a significant improvement in local air quality. If, in addition, LNG is replaced in the future by the fully sustainable bio-LNG, the CO2 emissions across the entire chain will be reduced enormously.
PitPoint acknowledges LNG-propulsion pushes up the cost of a vessel, a lot. How can an operator justify the extra cost, of approximately € 1,250,000 depending on the type of ship? Firstly, cleaner combustion means the maintenance costs of sailing on LNG are considerably lower. Secondly, fuel price is lower. Assuming consumption of 500,000 l of diesel per year – and the price difference in favour of LNG remains at the current level – then the payback period will be about 10 years. There is also a flow-on cost benefit to compliance through an enhanced sustainability profile, particularly when renewable LNG is utilised.
The company has prepared graphs to endorse that with recent price developments the investment in LNG for shipping can be recouped within ten years. An explanation of how the data has been extrapolated is available here.
LNG bunker station in Cologne
Dutch LNG-fuelled shipping vessels are currently refuelled from tanker vehicles, a situation PitPoint.LNG is addressing through the development of the first LNG bunker station in the port of Cologne, on the Rhine in Germany. This will make the bunkering of inland vessels sailing this major freight trade route easier as of 2019.
With the cost advantages, the greater degree of calculability, the cleaner combustion and the expansion of the European LNG infrastructure, LNG is a serious choice for the future of inland navigation. In addition, all future developments will further support the choice for LNG. Environmental legislation will only become more stringent and price developments will increasingly fall in favour of LNG. That makes the decision of skippers and shipping companies that are looking for a long-term investment perhaps even clearer.
PitPoint, an international provider of clean fuels, offers to design, build, finance, maintain, operate and service public and private fueling stations for LNG, CNG, biomethane, hydrogen for companies and governments.
Source: adapted from a PitPoint BV press release.