Dutch supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) Titan LNG is developing a new solution for safe delivery of LNG to both sea-going and river barges in ports in the Amsterdam – Rotterdam – Antwerp region, Europe’s largest bunkering hub.
Following research and development operations, the company has designed and developed the first LNG bunkering pontoon in North West Europe, the Titan LNG Flex-Fueler.
The vessel, which boasts a double bottom, double hull with a length of 70 metres, will be fitted with up to four tanks, each with a capacity of 300 cubic metres (cbm).
Two cranes will be used for flexible hose guidance, and the discharge capacity range is between 30 and 450cbm of LNG per hour.
Scheduled to be officially launched in the first quarter of 2018, Titan LNG Flex-Fueler is capable of loading and unloading via ex-wharf, ex-truck and ex-vessel.
The vessel is designed to have a fixed location to supply inland waterway vessels, but can also be navigated to larger sea-going vessels and safely supply LNG while they load or unload their cargo.
“It is critical that LNG bunkering infrastructure is developed to facilitate the efficient, cost effective, and safe delivery of LNG to both large and small LNG-fuelled vessels. Currently, truck-to-ship delivery provides the most flexibility, and is the only means of receiving LNG bunkers in the ARA region. However, there is an increase in larger LNG-fuelled vessels coming into the market, which cannot bunker at land-based LNG stations, as the deviation costs are too high or is simply not an option due to draft restrictions,” Niels den Nijs, Commercial Director, Titan LNG, said.
The shipping industry is seeing an increase in demand for LNG and bunkering infrastructure in line with MARPOL Annex VI regulations that stipulates the requirement to burn clean fuel (with a sulphur content of less than 0.1%) in Emission Control Areas (ECAs). The industry could also see the implementation of a global 0.5% sulphur limit in ECAs as early as 2020.