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EU’s LNG Masterplan project is successfully completed

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Between 14 and 16 December 2015, almost 300 LNG stakeholders gathered in Rotterdam to discuss the latest developments in safety, emergency response, ship design, bunkering, fuelling, as well as technical and market developments. The Port of Rotterdam was host to the LNG Masterplan Final Event.

The guests explored the port, visiting the GATE terminal and the Falck Rick training facility for emergency response on LNG. The STC Group opened its doors to show the brand new e-learning and training facility for shipping and trucking industry employees, who work with LNG.

Two LNG vessels could be visited at the event: the LNG retrofitted container vessel Eiger-Nordwand (Danser Group), moored next to the 100% LNG fuelled type C tanker EcoLiner (Damen). On the quay, Scania and Iveco displayed their latest trucks and TNO showed the LNG tank that had recently withstood a 2 hour fire test. In the Seinehaven, the first European LNG fuelled vessel Argonon (Deen Shipping) was displayed.

The LNG Masterplan Final Event concluded with an overview of all results of the 3 year project, and new LNG projects were also announced, such as the new ReaLNG project by Shell, Port of Lübeck, STC Group and Port of Rotterdam.

"The European Union is very proud to have facilitated this project between 2013 and 2015,” said Dimitrios Theologitis, Head of the European DG MOVE Unit Ports and Inland Waterways. “The project cost a total of €34 million, 17 million of which was provided by the European Union from the TEN-T Programme. We can say well done to all parties involved. It looks like we are going to benefit tremendously from this project for the implementation of LNG in the inland water transport sector. We are actually getting things done now.”

LNG Masterplan: project information

The LNG Masterplan project was launched in 2013 to facilitate deployment of LNG as eco-friendly alternative fuel and a new commodity for inland navigation sector. 33 EU-funded partners from 12 EU member states and one associated partner from Switzerland collaborated on various sub-projects with a view to realise the first LNG artery in Europe and developing a roadmap for the future. Their intensive work over the last 36 months resulted in more than 60 main deliverables.

The LNG Masterplan triggered activities in ports along the waterway axis. The first LNG terminal on the Danube was built by Bulmarket DM Ltd in Ruse, Bulgaria, as part of the LNG Masterplan project activities. The Port of Antwerp drafted a technical concept leading to building and environmental permits and a tender assigning a concessionaire for the construction and operation of a dedicated LNG bunker station. The new bunker station for vessel is expected to be operational in January 2019. Steps towards provision of alternative fuel infrastructure were carried out in Galati and Constanta in Romania or Komarno in Slovakia. The LNG infrastructure is feasible in Mannheim and Switzerland, where both authorities are looking into potential investors.

Furthermore, thanks to the results of the safety studies carried out during the LNG Masterplan project, the ports started revising the LNG handling procedures heading to achieve high safety levels.

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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