The largest port in Europe, the Port of Rotterdam, and the largest port in Scandinavia, the Port of Gothenburg, have entered a new alliance. The aim is to speed up the establishment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a maritime fuel. A memorandum of understanding will be signed between the Port of Rotterdam and the Port of Gothenburg. Both ports are located within the Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) in northern Europe where stricter rules governing sulphur in maritime fuel are due to be introduced in 2015. The aim is to have infrastructure for LNG bunkering available once the sulphur regulations come into effect.
“We see LNG as an important opportunity for the maritime industry to comply with the sulphur directive in 2015. The use of LNG as a fuel fits in our policy to become the most sustainable port. We consider the Port of Gothenburg as a strong partner in the Scandinavian market for this issue”, says Ronald Paul, COO, Rotterdam Port Authority
“We are extremely pleased that the largest port in Europe has joined forces with us in this important issue. Working together, we will have a very strong offering to the market,” says Magnus Kårestedt, Port of Gothenburg Chief Executive.
LNG offers substantial environmental benefits. Sulphur and particle emissions would be reduced to almost zero, nitrogen oxide emissions by 85-90 per cent and net greenhouse gases by 15-20 per cent.
To achieve the LNG target at both ports by 2015, rapid development is required in a number of areas. The necessary infrastructure at the ports needs to be constructed and rules will need to be drafted for handling LNG. It is also vital that the two ports promote awareness of LNG as a maritime fuel.
The Port of Gothenburg has already commenced planning of a new terminal which will include provision for LNG marine fuel bunkering.
LNG is natural gas that has been cooled down to liquid form, taking up just 1/600th of the volume in its gaseous state. It can be transported by sea, rail and road, thus reaching parts of the country that lack a gas grid. An LNG terminal in Gothenburg will be of importance not only for the West Coast but also for industry in other parts of the country where Swedish basic industry is in the process of replacing oil and coal.
(This article compiled using information from a Port of Rotterdam press release)