With new emission regulations coming into action in the SECA region on 1 January 2015, shortsea operator Containerships chooses for LNG to comply with the new rules. The Finnish company with a large office in Rotterdam has ordered two state-of-the-art dual-fuel engine-technology ships; the first shortsea container ships to run on LNG in Europe.
“They will be delivered in the course of 2016,” says Robert Venema, operations manager at Containerships Rotterdam. “Containerships strongly believes in LNG. For most of our current ships we will use scrubbers for the time being, but eventually we want to run our entire fleet of shortsea ships and trucks on LNG. It is the best option: it is safe, it is the cleanest fossil fuel on the market and it offers the best value for money. At current fuel price level we would save a minimum of 200,00 Dollar per ton using LNG versus heavy fuel oil. The initial purchase of the vessels is a big investment, but in the long run it is more economical. It enables us to maintain our price competitiveness.”
Containerships offers short sea services between Russia, Baltics, Europe, UK, Ireland and the North Sea, as well as North Africa and the Mediterranean. The newly ordered ships will be regular visitors of the port of Rotterdam. “Rotterdam is our key hub. And just like us, Rotterdam believes in the power of LNG. A major share of our containers go through the port of Rotterdam and by expanding our fleet and with the benefits of LNG we are expecting to grow with 50 to 70 per cent in the next 10 years.”
The Port of Rotterdam Authority is developing the market for LNG as a fuel and has the ambition to be the number one hub for LNG. In order to realize this, the Port Authority invests in infrastructure, is involved in the development of national and international policy and legislation and works together with relevant partners.
The Port of Rotterdam Authority also stimulates sustainable shipping with incentives. Sea going vessels and barges with a Green Award certificate or a high score in the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) receive a discount on the port dues. Vessels that use LNG have a considerably lower carbon dioxide and nitrogen emission compared to vessels that sail on conventional fuels like heavy fuel oil. There is no emission of sulfur and fine dust. In addition, the engines of LNG fueled vessels and barges are less noisy.