LNG key to sustainable cruise growth

2017-10-13T17:48:53+00:00 October 13th, 2017|Marketing|

LNG is an option for cruise terminals to achieve sustainable growth with the city, Greenport Cruise conference delegates were recently told.

Conference host, the Port of Amsterdam, said that it wanted to take full advantage of the cruise ship industry’s growth, but it said it recognised that a good relationship with the city needed to be forged.

One option being looked into is providing adequate LNG bunkering, which is perceived to be a good way to meet growth targets, as the cruise industry increasingly adopts the fuel. Amsterdam also viewed LNG as a good solution to meet emissions targets.

“One of the troubles with LNG is that infrastructure is not yet sufficient for cruising outside of Europe,” said Michael Schaap, commercial director marine, Titan LNG. “But the technology we are working on is the stepping stone for LNG bunkering in a port, providing a low cost solution to enable refuelling.”

He was referring to Titan LNG’s Flexfueler technology, which is a non-propelled pontoon that can be moved to wherever bunkering is required.

It’s the type of technology which if adopted more widely could help realise the use of LNG across the shipping industry and clean up emissions in ports and cities, he said.

Giving the cruise lines what they need in terms of infrastructure is something that the Port of Barcelona and the Port of Piraeus were also involved with.

“LNG is the only way to meet existing and upcoming requirements for SOx, NOx, PM and CO2,” said Stavros Hatzakos, Port of Piraeus general manager.

The port is working hard with the authorities to achieve the balancing act that is achieving growth and cleaning up emissions, he said.

Piraeus is participating in the POSEIDON MED-II project, which aims to encourage national authorities to develop the regulatory framework for LNG bunkering in Greece.

Jordi Vila, head of environmental affairs, Port of Barcelona, said that the port-city relationship can be tricky, but the key is to keep the dialogue open with all stakeholders.

“The best we can do as ports is to be active in incentivising greener vessels, promote the use of LNG and shore power for smaller vessels,” he said.

Schaap added that although it is part of the solution to clean up shipping emissions, LNG is not a “silver bullet”.

Other solutions should be looked at for older or smaller vessels, including the use of bio-fuels.

Emissions reducing technology such as scrubbers were not thought to be a long-term solution.

At the conference, questions from the floor included ongoing safety concerns with LNG, the use of bio-fuels and the lack of knowledge sharing in the industry.

One of the final words fell to the chairman of the conference, Tiziana Murgia, head of communications, Assoporti.

“There is still a gap in knowledge sharing in the industry, but ports have the role of facilitators in port-city relationships,” she said. “By this facilitating we can influence the choice of LNG as one of the fuels of the future.”