Barents NaturGass’s bunkering plant for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) at Polarbase, Hammerfest (the supply base for the Barents Sea), was officially opened this week by Norway’s Oil and Energy Minister Terje Søviknes. The facility can supply vessels in traffic along the Norwegian coast, in the Barents Sea or through the North Sea route with access to LNG, a fuel with very good environmental characteristics.
The bunkering is handled by Polarbase or Barents Natural Gas personnel and is available 24/7 throughout the year. The plant will usually be filled with LNG from Melkøya, 10 km away, where Barents NaturGass collects LNG by tanker daily. The facility can accommodate up to 25 truckloads, but is also set up to receive deliveries from ships.
“The plant consists of three tanks, a 250m3 horizontal tank that has been in operation from 2014, and two new vertical tanks rising approximately 36m above the ground and each holding 500m3. With a maximum pump capacity of 90 tonnes per hour, we ensure efficient bunkering for vessels of different tank sizes. The facility is equipped with all the most modern security solutions, “says Thomas Øien, technical manager and project manager.
Barents NaturGass now has capacity to deliver around 1000 m3 LNG in one operation. Together with its two bunkering plants in Nordland, as well as other facilities further south, the infrastructure for using LNG as fuel is now very good in Norway.
“Shipping has called for infrastructure and bunkering possibilities to switch to natural gas operation. With our offer in Hammerfest, Barents NaturGass covers just such a need, “says Gudrun Rollefsen, Managing Director of Barents NaturGass.
Today there are about 100 ships with LNG operations, most of them in Norway. In addition, more than 100 ships are under construction.
The typical users of the facility are supply vessels, tugs, coastguards, tankers and freight vessels. Common bunkering volume is between 100-700 m3. In addition, Barents NaturGass will use the facility as an intermediate warehouse to ensure stable deliveries to customers outside Hammerfest.
Transition from ordinary fuel to ships, such as marine gas oil (MGO) to natural gas, gives great environmental gains. Local emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) are often reduced by more than 90%, while dust / particulate or sulfur emissions are completely eliminated. Climate emissions also decline, CO2 emissions are reduced by around 25%.
Low-emission solution for future
The focus on climate issues is high both in Norway and internationally, and ambitious targets have been defined for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in the Paris agreement and within the EU. At the same time, population trends show internationally that there is a big and growing energy demand in the future. “For the sake of the climate, it is therefore crucial that action be taken to strengthen renewable solutions, but also for good low-emission solutions such as LNG,” says Rollefsen.
“We believe LNG will be increasingly important as the future’s low-emission fuel. For very short, fixed ferry connections, battery power may eventually be a good climatic solution, but for vessels that travel over longer distances, this is not an option. Here LNG is probably the very best solution, preferably in combination with bioLNG where available,” Rollefsen concluded.
The first bunkering from the new plant will take place in the middle of May.
(Source: Barents NaturGass)