Belgian gas transmission system operator Fluxys has started operations at the port of Antwerp to deliver LNG fuel for ships and barges.
The firm has taken over the concession for quay 526-528, where it currently operates a mobile fuelling solution, and aims to add a permanent LNG bunkering facility by the end of next year.
“Over the next year and a half Fluxys will construct at quay 526-528 the infrastructure needed for barges and smaller seagoing ships to fill up with LNG at a permanent facility with LNG storage,” a spokesperson for Fluxys said.
Collaboration with G&V Energy
The firm will work closely with Belgian fuel station operator G&V Energy Group over the next 18 months to construct the new LNG filling station and has aims to create a solution that will cater both for ocean vessels as well as trucks and road vehicles at the site.
The current mobile system in place at quay 526-528 allows captains to reserve a slot through an online platform and refuel via truck-to-ship transfer and it is expected that new permanent station will complement rather than replace this infrastructure.
“Fluxys already enables barges and smaller seagoing ships to bunker LNG smoothly and flexibly 24/7 using LNG tanker trucks, a procedure known as truck-to-ship bunkering... For ships and heavy duty trucks LNG is the ideal alternative in the transition to lower greenhouse gas emissions and better air quality,” a spokesperson for Fluxys commented.
ARA to foster LNG development
The development at Antwerp builds on recent LNG infrastructure development by Fluxys at the port of Zeebrugge to the west of Antwerp. Last year, the firm completed introduced its first LNG bunker vessel Engie Zeebrugge with capacity for 5,000 cubic metres of LNG.
Jointly owned by Fluxys, French energy company Engie, engineering firm Mitsubishi, and shipping line NYK, the bunker ship will support the Gas4Sea joint venture and aims to promote LNG as a fuel throughout the main northern Europe shipping hub of the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) set of ports.
“The challenge in making LNG grow in the bunker market is to develop sufficient supply infrastructure to support the increasing number of LNG-fuelled ships that are expected to come into operation,” a spokesperson for Engie said.