The Port of Rotterdam Authority and the National LNG Platform will be starting a joint study that focuses on opportunities to develop LNG from renewable sources as a transport fuel in the port of Rotterdam. LNG is considerably cleaner than other fuels, and engines that run on LNG also generate less noise. Relying on bio LNG rather than regular LNG allows users to drastically reduce CO₂ emission levels.
Electric transport options are expected to form a major means to cut back CO₂ emissions in passenger transport over the next few years. But for the moment, electric propulsion systems are not a viable alternative for inland shipping, maritime shipping and heavy road transport. Compared to diesel fuel and fuel oil, LNG (liquid natural gas) is a far cleaner option, with a significantly smaller footprint: up to 15% lower CO₂ emissions, 85% less nitrogen oxides, zero sulfur and particulates and far quieter engines.
On top of this, bio LNG offers another advantage: the emitted CO₂ is part of a so-called short cycle: CO₂ emissions are actually neutralised by the associated CO₂ uptake. In other words, bio LNG is a sustainable option that can be both used as a stand-alone fuel or mixed with fossil-based LNG.
LNG is already supplied as a transport fuel to shipping and heavy road transport from the Gate Terminal (operated by Gasunie and Vopak) in the port of Rotterdam. The Port Authority and the National LNG Platform will now be jointly examining the opportunities there are to develop bio LNG as a transport fuel in the port of Rotterdam. In the view of the LNG Platform, this partnership aligns very well with the current LNG Covenant.
The study can be broken down into three key elements. In the first place, the existing and expected availability of production technologies and processes in the period until 2030. Secondly, a market study that includes scenarios that go into the availability of sustainable feedstock and the future development of demand. And finally, business cases for the production, transport and transhipment of bio LNG in Rotterdam’s port area.
A total of eight companies that are members of the National LNG Platform will be supporting the study with their technical, legal and financial expertise and knowledge of the market. The partners aim to round off the study by the second half of 2017. Based on the research findings, it will be decided whether – and if so, in which form – Rotterdam will be developing a bio LNG programme.