Europe's first inland waterway LNG bunker vessel begins operations

4 July 2019

Europe's first inland-waterway liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker vessel has performed its first bunkering operations in Rotterdam.

The LNG London refueled the vessels Containerships Polar and Containerships Nord.

Owned by LNG Shipping and on long-term charter to Shell, the LNG London will be used for LNG bunkering in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp, to help meet the growing need for cleaner-burning fuel.

The vessel will be loaded with LNG at the Gate terminal in Rotterdam using an innovative fuel transfer system that enables delivery of LNG to seagoing vessels, inland barges and onshore terminals.

The smaller air draft of the vessel will also allow it to sail via inland waterways to Antwerp and Amsterdam, if required.

With the implementation of the IMO’s 0.5% sulphur cap in 2020, there is an increasing interest in LNG as a viable 2020-compliant marine fuel not only for seagoing vessels, but also for inland vessels.

Compared to traditional marine fuels, natural gas significantly reduces NOx and reduces overall GHG emissions by up to 21%, according to an emissions study by Thinkstep.

"The entry into service of LNG London shows our ability and commitment to providing safe and reliable supplies that help meet the growing need for cleaner-burning fuel," Tahir Faruqui, General Manager, Shell Global Downstream LNG, said. "We are pleased to have three LNG bunker vessels in our fleet and look forward to others joining them in the future."

The 110m long, 15m wide LNG London has a cargo capacity of 3,000cu m of LNG.

According to DNV GL, there were 154 LNG vessels in operation and 146 vessels on order as of April 2019.

LNG Shipping, is a consortium of Belgium-based Victrol and Sogestran.