DNV has received a contract from the Belgian Government to carry out a feasibility study into the introduction of LNG bunkering facilities at Belgium’s Antwerp, Zeebrugge and Ghent ports.
The study will include a market survey, risk and safety analysis, and modelling of the logistical, legal and regulatory requirements. The company said that it will identify hazards and provide quantitative risk analysis covering people at the port as well as the wider community and natural environment.
DNV head of solutions for central Europe Mohamed Houari said the Flemish ports authorities are optimistic about the potential for safe and efficient LNG bunkering operations, and the company’s multi-disciplinary analysis will help them move forward confidently.
DNV claimed that burning LNG as fuel will reduce SOx and particulate emissions by 100%, NOx emissions by 90% and CO2 emissions by 20% compared with heavy fuel oil use. DNV regional manager of central Europe Torgeir Sterri said shipowners are working hard to meet the increasingly strict emissions requirements of the Baltic and North Seas, and ports are now responding as the popularity of LNG is becoming apparent.
There are currently 22 LNG-fuelled ships in operation that are classed by DNV and the company has a further 18 signed newbuilding contracts, while three vessels are scheduled to be converted for LNG fuel.
The company expects that by 2020 LNG will be used to fuel the majority of new vessels, particularly short-sea ships operating in Emission Control Areas such as Belgian waters. DNV COO for Asia-Pacific and Middle East Remi Eriksen said increasing focus on LNG as a clean and cost-effective ship fuel has brought forward initiatives throughout the shipping industry, preparing the ground for a more rapid introduction of LNG as fuel for ships in all segments.
In October 2011, DNV signed contracts to offer bunkering of LNG in Elbehafen, Brunsbüttel, Germany, and said that the new Flemish Government contract in Belgium will help promote LNG as an environmentally friendly, readily available fuel for ships. The company has been involved in several projects for LNG import terminals in Europe, including Rotterdam’s GATE terminal.