The port of Rotterdam is the European import, export and regasification hub for Liquefied Natural Gas. After regasification at the Gate terminal in Rotterdam, the gas is transported through pipelines to the Dutch and European gas network. But next to the use of LNG for energy purposes, LNG also has a huge potential as a clean, alternative fuel for shipping and road transport. That is why the Port of Rotterdam Authority, together with national and international partners, has been working towards a complete supply chain for LNG as a fuel since 2011.
LNG is a natural gas that is converted to liquid by cooling it down to minus 162 degrees Celsius. This results in a decrease of volume with a factor 600, making it more suitable for storage and transportation. LNG can be used - like natural gas - as a feedstock or energy source. In recent years the application of LNG as a fuel has also become better known.
Vessels that use LNG have no emission of sulfur and fine dust and they emit significantly less carbon dioxide and nitrogen. In addition to environmental advantages, LNG is also considerably cheaper than heavy fuel oil or diesel, and engines of LNG fuelled vessels are less noisy and need less maintenance.
Since the opening of the Gate terminal, major steps have been taken to promote LNG as a fuel. In the meantime the Rotterdam Port Management By-Law has been adapted, so that bunkering of LNG in the port of Rotterdam is now allowed. Furthermore, the necessary infrastructure is being installed and the number of vessels that run on LNG is steadily rising.
The upward trend in the number of LNG ships continues for the time being. And with the introduction of stricter emission regulations for ships in the SECA region, LNG has become even more attractive as a fuel alternative, since vessels running on LNG comply automatically with the new sulfate restrictions. The Port of Rotterdam Authority stimulates sustainable shipping with incentives. Barges with a Green Award certificate or a high score in the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) for instance, receive a discount on the port dues. LNG-vessels qualify for these incentives. Enough reasons for arguing that LNG is the fuel of choice for the future.
"LNG is safe, clean and offers the best value for money."
— Robert Venema, operations manager at Containerships Rotterdam.
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