Facilities for Bunkering of Liquefied Natural Gas in Ports

Emission reduction targets are driving a new way of thinking and a range of technological solutions within the shipping and port sectors. So far, four major solutions have been identified for cleaner ship fuels: (i) Marine Gas Oil, (ii) Heavy Fuel Oil + Scrubber, (iii) Liquefied Natural Gas – herein referred to as LNG, and (iv) Methanol. From those alternatives, most experts recognise LNG as the most developed fuel solution, both in the short- and in the medium-term. In 2014, the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) as well as the International Gas Union (IGU) reported a significant growth of terminals for LNG liquefaction and regasification. Moreover, the European Commission, as part of its Clean Power for Transport package, has adopted in 2014 a Directive ‘on the deployment of alternative fuels, recharging and refuelling infrastructure’. Nevertheless, there are several constraints that need to be addressed yet, more particularly in LNG importing countries in order to meet the future demand of the expected LNG-powered fleet. They include facilities for storage and transhipment of LNG for fuelling berths, barges and ships. This paper provides an overview of the use of LNG for the maritime industry and examines its potential for future growth on the basis of the LNG-powered fleet (current and in order) and planned expansion of LNG bunkering facilities, mainly in European ports. Most data here presented come from a variety of sources including international databases such as IHS Maritime, ports websites, and reports from LNG-related organisations. In addition, the results from past and current EU-funded projects in this field were reviewed and consultations were conducted among representatives from participating ports. Overall, it was found that the LNG powered fleet is expanding slowly and the trend is towards building LNG-propelled vessels for smaller ship sizes and short distances. Although Norway is the new-building front runner, other countries, mainly in Europe (e.g. the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, and Malta), have ordered an important amount of new buildings. Similarly, European ports are expanding considerably their LNG bunkering capacities. Remarkable are the activities conducted by the ports of Spain and Italy with planned expansion for LNG handling and storage facilities beyond 2020. Finally, with regards to regulations, while international standards have been adopted for the construction and operation of LNG powered ships and crew's training, no harmonisation exists yet for LNG facilities in ports. The latter have allowed major ports to undertake independent initiatives to overcome the situation.


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  • Accession Number: 01607028
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 29 2016 8:32AM