Fluxys, independent operator of Belgium’s natural gas transmission system, and Dutch fuel supplier Titan LNG have joined forces to build the FlexFueler 002, a bunkering pontoon to make liquefied natural gas (LNG) more widely available as shipping fuel in the Antwerp port and region.
The pontoon will be commissioned by mid-2020 and support the shipping industry in its switch to cleaner operations. Titan LNG will be the long-term operator of the pontoon. It’s sister vessel FlexFueler 001 will fulfil similar duties from “America Harbour” at the Port of Amsterdam when it comes into service in approximately 3 months.
LNG immediately improves local air quality
The shipping industry is seeing an increase in demand for LNG and LNG bunkering infrastructure as regulations for sulphur content in shipping fuel have become stricter and will tighten even more in 2020. In this respect, switching to LNG immediately cuts emissions of sulphur and particulate matter to negligible levels, while emissions of nitrogen oxides are dramatically reduced and carbon emissions significantly lowered.
LNG bunkering services for inland waterway vessels and small coasters
The FlexFueler 002 LNG bunkering pontoon will have as its home location Quay 526/528 in the port of Antwerp. Fluxys at Quay 526/528 has a concession to provide LNG bunkering services and currently accommodates truck-to-ship bunkering on the site.
From its home location at Quay 526/528, FlexFueler 002 will provide bunkering services throughout the Antwerp port and region to inland waterway vessels and small coasters. The Port of Antwerp is actively supporting this development to improve local air quality and has commissioned an LNG bunker map showing where ship-to-ship bunkering in the harbour area is supported.
Further LNG optionality in the Port of Antwerp underway
Next to Quay 526/528, G&V and Rolande LNG, Titan LNG’s sister company, will build and operate an LNG fuelling station for heavy duty trucks. The infrastructure will also be used by Fluxys and Titan LNG to provide at Quay 526/528 permanent LNG bunkering services for inland waterway vessels in addition to the current truck-to-ship bunkering option.
Pascal de Buck, CEO of Fluxys commented: “Our investment in the Antwerp LNG bunkering pontoon marks our commitment to offer concrete solutions to bring the energy transition forward and improve air quality. The pontoon is yet another link we are adding to the logistics chain in Belgium to make LNG more widely available as alternative fuel for ships. We are pleased to work with Titan LNG and combining Fluxys’ LNG experience of decades with Titan’s operational experience to contribute to the adoption of LNG in transportation fuel markets.”
Niels den Nijs, CEO of Titan LNG added: “The use of LNG as a marine fuel is rapidly growing. We are convinced that the Titan LNG FlexFuelers are the missing link to safe, economical, and speedy LNG delivery in the ARA region. We feel strengthened by our Fluxys partnership and have identified ample opportunities to expand the cooperation in other geographies. With FlexFueler001 and 002 providing back-up for each other, we can provide the operational certainty that ship owners require.”