Liquefied natural gas (LNG) has the biggest potential market in Europe out of all alternative fuels, but the initial kick-off of a more significant use of LNG depends on the construction of small-scale and bunkering distribution networks throughout the continent, Tobias Rosenbaum, DNV GL’s Regional Manager for Continental Europe told World Maritime News during the Offshore Mediterranean Conference in Ravenna.
Talking of DNV GL’s involvement in an EU-funded study focusing on risks and opportunities of using LNG as a shipping fuel, Rosenbaum said that the problem of the LNG infrastructure in Europe ”can be seen as the chicken and the egg” conundrum.
”If you don’t provide the LNG infrastructure, the ships can’t deliver the LNG shipments, but if you don’t have the LNG carriers, all the infrastructure becomes useless,” said Rosenbaum. ”The biggest issue is what should come first.”
There needs to be a political will to establish the LNG infrastructure, which at a certain stage can only be done by government bodies, Rosenbaum said.
However, the construction of the LNG infrastructure should not be regarded as anyone’s responsibility or obligation, but as a mutually beneficial chance for the governments, the distributors and the end users.
”We are happy to see that the EU is looking into the potential of using LNG as a shipping fuel. Europe is so fragmented that there would be no use of just one large-scale bunkering hub for the entire continent,” said Rosenbaum.
”Germany, for example, has no LNG bunkering infrastructure. Port of Hamburg is playing with the idea, but again, nothing has materialized yet because of that chicken or the egg problem. These issues need a bit of political will to move forward, and that is why it is important to see the EU taking an interest in the issue.”
World Maritime News Staff