On Friday 25 April, the port authorities of Antwerp, Mannheim, Rotterdam, Strasbourg and Switzerland signed a joint venture for the introduction of LNG. This involves cooperation in research, promotion, knowledge transfer, legislation and bunker infrastructure.
The agreements follow on from the LNG Master plan of the Rhine-Main-Danube corridor in which all participants are involved.The aim of this master plan is to put liquefied natural gas to full scale use as a fuel for inland shipping on the Rhine-Main-Danube corridor.
The European Union has provided a subsidy of €40 million to support an LNG infrastructure for the Rhine-Main-Danube area. The Danser Group, supported by the LNG Master plan, has commenced refitting its Eiger-Nordwand tow boat. The engines of this vessel will be powered by LNG for 99%.
The cooperation ties in with the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s aim to see the market for LNG as a fuel develop to its full potential, and to open an LNG hub in Rotterdam before the end of 2015. In order to realise this, the Port Authority invests in infrastructure, is closely involved in the formation of the necessary national and international policy and legislation, and invests in cooperation with relevant partners.
LNG in Rotterdam
There has been a special terminal for the storage and handling of liquefied natural gas in the port of Rotterdam since 2011: the Gate terminal. The Argonon and the Greenstream are the first inland vessels powered by LNG which call at the port of Rotterdam. The Municipality of Rotterdam amended the regulations last year so that inland vessels can now also bunker.
Port of Rotterdam Authority, April 28, 2014