Skangass, a Norwegian LNG-based energy solutions provider, will build a bunker station for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in Risavika, close to Stavanger in Norway. DSB (Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection ) has approved the plans for a bunker station dedicated for Fjord Line’s cruise ferries. For the first time in Norway, ferries have the opportunity to bunker LNG while having passengers on board.
Last December, DSB amended its regulations relating to the handling of hazardous substances to allow refueling of ships with LNG while passengers are on board. “Skangass has received an approval for establishing a permanent bunkering solution for Fjord Line’s ferries,” says Managing Director in Skangass Tor Morten Osmundsen. “We are pleased with DSB supporting our opinion that bunkering with passengers on board can be done in a safe manner.”
Skangass has designed the bunker solution with the target to minimize the receiving vessels turnaround time in port as much as possible. High capacity and efficiency when bunkering is an essential condition for LNG being a preferred solution for the marine marked. Bunkering while having passengers on board will reduce the turnaround time for ferries running on LNG.
The project is well on the way and Skangass is aiming towards a start-up during Summer 2014. Fjord Line’s two new cruise ferries, the MS Stavangerfjord and the MS Bergensfjord, are both powered by LNG. The MS Bergensfjord has just been delivered to Fjord Line by shipbuilder Bergen Group Fosen. “The completion of the ship went faster than expected, so we are looking into the possibility of putting it into service earlier than planned,” says Fjord Line CEO Ingvald Fardal (in a separate press release).
Environmental regulations drive the development
One of the main drivers for using LNG as vessel fuel is the EU environmental regulation for lower emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2). The directive is in force from 2015. To make LNG available in a larger scale than today the infrastructure for bunkering needs to be developed. EU is planning to contribute to develop 139 ports with LNG bunker stations in Europe before the year 2025.
The bunker solution for LNG in Risavika in Norway thereby makes an important contribution for vessels trading along the Norwegian coast to comply with the environmental regulation. At the same time the marine market requires efficiency. Access to bunker stations is a prerequisite for operators evaluating to convert their vessels from diesel to natural gas, a much more environmental friendly fuel.