Flemish Government and the port authorities of Antwerp, Zeebrugge, Ghent and Fluxys have published a feasibility study on liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering with assistance from Norway’s ship classification society Det Norske Veritas (DNV).
Ports around the world are considering using LNG as a ship fuel to reduce carbon emissions and are investing in facilities at port which will allow ships to take LNG as fuel instead of oil-based fuel products.
The Flemish government is now working on the recommendations of the study to explore the safe introduction of LNG bunkering at Belgian seaports.
DNV provided a market forecasting study, regulatory analysis and modelled LNG supply logistics for the feasibility study.
DNV’s market forecasting study provided an estimated LNG bunkering demand for each port from shipping and world energy markets, while the logistics model enabled the ports to simulate, compare and calculate costs of different LNG bunkering supply chain options.
According to DNV, its combined results will provide a strategic and tactical decision support tool for the ports to develop their LNG bunkering infrastructure.
The legal and regulatory analysis from DNV has provided a complete listing of applicable local, regional, national, European and international standards and regulations.
The analysis showed gaps in the current framework, resulting in 23 recommendations that include the need to develop operational bunkering procedures, and procedures for metering, measurement, fuel sampling and quality control.
Flemish Minister for Mobility and Public Works Hilde Crevits said: "Through the realisation of this study on the different aspects for the bunkering of LNG in the Flemish ports, the stricter standards of the IMO for marine fuel sulphur emissions are anticipated, and an important step has been taken towards providing LNG as shipping fuel in the Flemish seaports."
By 2020, ports are expected to see an increase in the number of LNG bunkering facilities as most ships will be fuelled with LNG, particularly in short-sea shipping and in emission control areas.
DNV regional manager of Central Europe Torgeir Sterri said that ship owners are working hard to meet increasingly strict emissions requirements and ports are now responding as the popularity of LNG becomes apparent.