The Gothenburg Port Authority has decided to extend a discount on the port tariff for ships running on LNG and is already outlining a renewed environmental discount.
In 2015, the port introduced the discount in an effort to increase the number of calls by LNG-fueled ships. Several major LNG investments have been made since then. This has had a positive impact on the environment, including reduced emissions of sulfur dioxide, particles and nitric oxide into the air in western Sweden.
As part of the environmental discount scheme, vessels that report good environmental performance receive a 10 percent discount on the port tariff, assuming they achieve a certain level according to the globally recognized environmental indexes ESI and CSI. Vessels that run on LNG receive an extra discount of 20 percent each time they call. The LNG discount is subject to a time limit and is due to run until the end of this year.
The use of LNG began to gather momentum at the Port of Gothenburg in the second half of 2016. Prior to that, shipping companies were skeptical about investing as there were no means of bunkering LNG at the port. At the same time, bunkering companies were unwilling to supply LNG without a customer base.
“A catalyst was necessary to break the deadlock, and the energy discount has been a strong contributing factor behind many players choosing to follow the LNG route,” Edvard Molitor, Environmental Manager at the Gothenburg Port Authority, commented.
“It took time before it really took off, but today these players are at the LNG forefront at the Port of Gothenburg. Now that the discount period is drawing to a close, we can see that the upward trend is continuing at the port with a growing number of LNG calls. We aim to maintain our support for this development, and we are therefore planning to extend the four-year discount period by a further two years,” Molitor added.
In 2019, the LNG discount will be 20 percent as previously, before being phased out during 2020 with a reduction to 10 percent. However, during the phase-out period, the port authority will focus on developing the regular indexed environmental discount, which takes greater account of the vessels’ environmental impact rather than the technology or the fuel used to run the vessel.
“We will of course continue to support vessels that offer a good environmental profile, but we won’t make any distinction in the discount between vessels that produce the same environmental outcomes. As the environmental effects of LNG operation continue to be good, these will also be incorporated into our future environmental control system,” Molitor further said.
So far this year, a total of 56 ships running on LNG has called the Port of Gothenburg, with some 80 more expected. The number of LNG-powered ships docking at the port increased to 111 in 2017 from only sixteen seen in 2016.