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LNG as short-sea shipping’s green fuel of the future

Date: 12/04/2011

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is an environmentally- and climate-friendly fuel that must be made competitive through an effective infrastructure and favourable framework conditions.

But great efforts are necessary to solve some of the challenges posed by the development of favourable framework conditions and an infrastructure of LNG filling stations.

The final outcome of the project will form the basis of decisions by shipping companies, ports, LNG providers, states, the EU and the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO). This means that, in the years to come, the project participants will apply broad and many-faceted approaches to ensure that the use of LNG as fuel can become reality.

The project will deal with the following areas:
• Safety from a ship, a port and an LNG provider perspective. 
• Public authorities and public awareness since the issue does not concern large LNG terminals with large ships, but rather decentralised terminals and small ships. 
• The technical possibilities of using LNG as fuel both in connection with new-buildings and retrofitting. 
• The use of maritime LNG filling stations for other purposes than ship-related ones in order to achieve economies of scale. 
• LNG filling stations, including the stations’ supply of LNG; integration with the natural gas network; various designs of filling stations, both mobile ones – ships, barges and lorries – and fixed ones; the potential of extending a given capacity; regulation of the physical location; legal, operational and financial models; bunkering requirements for various types of ships; and a map with ports for strategically located LNG filling stations. 
• Economy from a ship, a port and an LNG provider perspective. 
• The LNG market with possible price developments and market conditions. 
• The potential for using LNG in the Baltic, the North Sea and the English Channel.
The test of the recommendations has a commercial aim and may, for example, take its point of departure in individual ports with the identification of the market potential for LNG, the supply of LNG for bunkering purposes, the design of LNG filling stations – both fixed and mobile ones – as well as safety.

EU support is necessary
The project requires the EU to actively support the work on the project. Consequently, an application has been submitted under the EU TEN-T (Trans-European Networks – Transport) call for motorways of the seas from May 2010. The application was filed on 31 August 2010.

Subsequently, the application will be evaluated by the EU system, and if this evaluation is positive, the work is expected to commence during the second quarter of 2011 and will be finalised during the first quarter of 2012.

The following partners take part in the project:
• States: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway.
• The Nordic Council of Ministers.
• Ports: Port of Hirtshals (DK), Port of Zeebrugge (BE), and Szczecin and Swinoujscie seaports Authority (PL).
• LNG terminals and gas companies: Fluxys (BE), Gasum (FI), Gasunie (NL), (DK), Energigas Sverige (SE) and Gasnor (NO).
• The maritime cluster: Germanischer Lloyd (DE), MAN Diesel and Turbo (DK) and Lauritzen Kosan A/S (DK).
A steering group will be established with partner participation as well as a reference group for which interested parties will be invited.

You can read more about the project in the application to the EU.

Should you have any questions in connection with the project, please contact Head of Centre Mogens Schrøder Bech by telephone +45 39 17 45 01 or by e-mail [email protected]

Furthermore, the application contains a full-scale pilot project for LNG operation of two ships owned by Fjordline Danmark A/S engaged on voyages between Denmark and Norway.

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