Antwerp moves towards permanent LNG station
Antwerp Port Authority is continuing its focus on LNG with the aim of setting up a permanent bunkering station at the port by the beginning of 2016.
Truck-to-ship bunkering is already possible at the port – a truck collects LNG from the import terminal in Zeebrugge which is then delivered to the barges on the quayside.
Building a permanent bunkering station means that LNG will be available at the port at all times. The port said it's a way of breaking out of the “chicken and egg” situation, or in other words, a way to help persuade the barge industry to make the necessary investments to switch to LNG as a fuel.
Antwerp Port Authority has also issued a European call for tenders for the design and build of the new station allowing for the possibility that a private company may take up the tender.
Construction of the bunkering station will partly be subsidised by the LNG Master Plan for the Rhine-Main-Danube, a project that forms part of the European Commission’s TEN-T programme. The aim of this Master Plan is to promote the use of LNG as a fuel and its carriage as a cargo by European barges.
To assure continuity and achieve the maximum impact in the Rhine corridor, Antwerp Port Authority is collaborating closely with its counterparts in Basel, Mannheim, Rotterdam and Strasbourg.
Over the last few years, the port authority has taken a number of steps to move forward with its bid to install permanent LNG infrastructure at the port.
Back in March, Antwerp published its own specific procedures for LNG bunkering to enable the process to be carried out as safely as possible.
By Anne-Marie Causer
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