News release by National Platform LNG
Rotterdam, 5 July 2012
Today, a group of companies presented their plans for the introduction of liquefied natural gas as a clean transport fuel in the Netherlands. They did so in the presence of Minister Verhagen in connection with the Green Deal policy, whereby companies take initiatives which are in line with government objectives in the areas of climate and the environment. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) can provide a significant contribution to making the transport industry cleaner by reducing the emission of NOx, SOx, particulates and greenhouse gases. The objective is to run a minimum of 50 barges, 50 sea-going vessels and 500 trucks on LNG by 2015. Three weeks ago, the initiators signed the ‘Green Deal LNG’ together with Minister Verhagen and the Secretary of State Atsma. Today, Verhagen came to Rotterdam to discuss the initial plans. The start of the chain is located on the Maasvlakte in Rotterdam, at Gasunie and Vopak’s Gate Terminal, where LNG enters the Netherlands via large tankers.
The commissioning of Gate Terminal in 2011 has provided the Netherlands with the possibility of deploying LNG as a clean alternative for traditional transport fuels. The liquefied gas currently flows through the pipeline network of Gasunie to domestic and overseas users. As such, it forms an important link in the energy supply for our country and surrounding countries. Gasunie and Vopak are now making plans to build a smaller terminal next to Gate Terminal, which will enable LNG to be transferred to tank trucks. These trucks will take the LNG to petrol stations as a clean fuel for road transport and to bunker stations for inland and sea-going vessels. There are also plans for a quay, so that LNG can be distributed using smaller vessels.
“We want the Dutch shipping and road transport industries to make use of clean LNG, i.e. liquefied gas”, commented Minister Verhagen during the meeting. “This provides opportunities for the business sector, but the environmental benefit is no less important. Liquefied gas is significantly better for air quality than traditional transport fuels. It is great that companies and organizations have come to Rotterdam to shape this new chain together.”
The introduction of LNG as a fuel for trucks, inland shipping, coastal shipping, ferries, fishing boats and tugboats is being worked on at various sites. In recent years, gas tanker shipping company Anthony Veder has already invested more than EUR 150 million in the construction of three LNG tankers. The Green Deal focuses on two specific areas: the Wadden and North Sea area and the Rhine between Rotterdam and Basel, including Amsterdam and Vlissingen. In both areas, initiatives are being developed, such as the LNG ferry owned by Shipping company Doeksen between Harlingen and Terschelling, Petrol station Green Planet in Pesse where an LNG tank infrastructure will be installed for heavy trucks and two Anthony Veder ethylene vessels which will run between England and the European continent. Norlines and AG Emst in the Eemshaven intend to use LNG and Shell is also actively looking at developing LNG as fuel for road transport and coastal and inland shipping.
During the meeting the National LNG Platform was established. The Platform brings together initiatives focused on the LNG chain and will work on the conditions together with the government. The Platform has a ’50-50-500 objective’: at least 50 barges, 50 sea-going vessels and 500 trucks running on LNG by 2015. Everybody who wants to be at the forefront the 50-50-500 objective is able to join. Initiators of the Platform are the two regions, unified in Energy Valley (the energy cluster in the north of the Netherlands) and Deltalinqs (the business organization representing companies in the port of Rotterdam, part of the Rotterdam Climate Initiative). In addition, LNG TR&D (collaboration between 3TU, VSL and TNO). LNG TR&D manages the LNG part of the ‘Innovatie Contract Gas’ and can ensure that results of research can be implemented in practice quickly, as technological innovation is required for a successful introduction of LNG.
LNG is natural gas that is cooled to minus 162 degrees Celsius. It then becomes a clear liquid, whereby its volume is reduced by a factor of 600. This makes it easier and cheaper to transport and store. There is a potential to open up a (Dutch) market of 2-3 million tonnes of LNG as transport fuel (2030) which means a possible reduction in greenhouse gas equivalents of more than 1 megaton per year and for particulates a reduction of 400-600 tonnes per year. The emission of NOx and SOx also reduces (in comparison to, for example, gas oil) as does noise pollution. In the longer term, further greening is possible by increasing the share of sustainable Bio LNG, based on organic carbon.
In the front row far right, next to the mayor Aboutaleb of Rotterdam, Vopak's COO Frits Eulderink.