The German port of Rostock together with Gazprom Germania GmbH set about creating a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) marine fueling hub at the port over the past several months and has now formally commenced operations by refueling its first vessel, the MV Greenland. Bunkering of the environmentally friendly fuel has been accomplished as a collaboration between Gazprom Germania, the port development company in Rostock and the local licensing authority.
Rostock, the largest of the German Baltic Sea ports, completed the first southern Baltic LNG bunkering in the early hours of Feb 27. In coordination with the port agent Sartori & Berger, the 110 metre cement freighter MV Greenland leased to the Norwegian shipping company KGJ Cement AS was bunkered with -160 degrees liquefied natural gas, The LNG was transported to the dock via fuel tankers, effectively creating mobile refueling station.
“We see great potential in the maritime sector. Thousands of tons of heavy oil could be replaced annually by environmentally friendly natural gas. This first important step we have taken now in Rostock. The bunkering has shown that the use of LNG as a fuel for shipping already is a reality”, says Timo Vehrs, Director Business Development of GAZPROM Germania.
“We welcome the new development in the port of Rostock and are sure we can increase the competitiveness of Rostock among other harbours with the provision of alternative fuel such as natural gas and more environmentally friendly ships calling at the port,” says Jens A. Scharner, managing director of Rostock harbour.
Tougher limits on the sulphur content of marine fuels (0.1 per cent) in Emissions Control Areas (ECAs), which entered into force in January 2015, have increased the demand for alternative fuel port infrastructure. Against this background, the GAZPROM group signed together with the Rostock port development company a Memorandum of Understanding in 2014 for cooperation in the LNG market. Key areas of cooperation include the development, use and marketing of LNG in road and maritime transport in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
(Source: GAZPROM Germania GmbH)