PitPoint.LNG opened the first solid Liquefied Natural Gas ( LNG ) bunker station for inland vessels in Europe at the end of October, in the Niehler Hafen in Cologne. With the arrival of this station, a concrete step has been taken to further enable clean water transport.
The new LNG bunker station is part of PitPoint.LNG’s plans to develop a European LNG infrastructure for heavy transport by road and water and is co-financed by the European Union. The strategic location of the station between Basel and Rotterdam and the good accessibility of the location were the main reasons for choosing the port of Cologne.
LNG is the cleanest fuel currently available for (heavy) transport by water. The biggest gain is mainly in the lower emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides (NOₓ). Based on the current European emission requirements (CCNR II), compared to diesel engines, LNG engines produce up to 20 percent less CO₂, at least 80 percent less NOₓ and more than 99 percent less particulate matter. The substantial reduction of these harmful substances contributes directly to the improvement of air quality. LNG is also seen as a transition fuel and as a step towards the even cleaner bio-LNG.
Faster Transit for LNG-Fueled Vessels
With the arrival of this fixed bunker station on Europe’s busiest waterway, the required LNG infrastructure has now also been given further substance, making sailing on LNG more accessible. The entire fixed bunker process speeds up the entire bunker process considerably. Whereas for truck-to-ship bunkering LNG ships first had to make a request and schedule an appointment to purchase LNG, shore-to-ship bunkering can now be done faster and easier via the station’s powerful pumps. The fixed bunker station is also accessible 24/7 and has professional service engineers who provide bunker guidance. In the near future it will also be possible to have two ships bunker at the same time.
“We are very proud to welcome the first permanent LNG bunkering station in Europe to our port in Niehl, Cologne. We see this tank system as the next building block in our approach to achieving even more sustainable and environmentally friendly transport. In addition, we also facilitate the sustainability of the associated logistics. LNG stands for a reliable and clean fuel alternative. The use of this fuel helps to reduce pollutant emissions. We therefore see the use of LNG as an important step towards a sustainable future for the logistics sector.” (Jan Sönke Eckel and Wolfgang Birlin, Managing Directors at port manager RheinCargo)
LNG meets the strictest emission requirements and makes cleaner transport possible. The bunker station has been established thanks to a chain approach that includes shippers, port companies, shipping companies, transport companies and support from the European Union, all working together to make Europe ‘s inland shipping traffic more sustainable.