LNG Bunkering Pontoon Developed
Titan LNG, a supplier of LNG to the marine and industrial markets in North West Europe, has developed an LNG bunkering pontoon designed to fuel both sea-going and river barges in ports in the ARA (Amsterdam – Rotterdam – Antwerp) region, Europe’s largest bunkering hub.
The Titan LNG Flex-Fueler is designed to have a fixed location to supply inland waterway vessels but can also be navigated to larger sea-going vessels and safely supply LNG while they load or unload their cargo. The company says it therefore minimizes costs and maximizes operational efficiencies, while unlocking access to safe and quick LNG delivery in the key ARA region. Titan LNG Flex-Fueler is currently more economical than conventional LNG bunker barge delivery due to its low capex and opex requirements, it says.
Titan LNG Flex-Fueler boasts a double bottom, double hull with a length of 70 meters (230 feet) and will be fitted with up to four tanks, each with a capacity of 300 cubic meters (cbm). Two cranes will be used for flexible hose guidance, and the discharge capacity range is between 30 and 450cbm of LNG per hour. Titan LNG Flex-Fueler is capable of loading and unloading via ex-wharf, ex-truck and ex-vessel.
“Currently, truck-to-ship delivery provides the most flexibility, and is the only means of receiving LNG bunkers in the ARA region,” says Niels den Nijs, Commercial Director at Titan LNG. “However, there is an increase in larger LNG-fuelled vessels coming into the market, which cannot bunker at land-based LNG stations, as the deviation costs are too high or is simply not an option due to draft restrictions. The feedback that we have received from customers, ports and class societies has convinced us that Titan LNG Flex-Fueler is the missing link to safe, economical and speedy LNG delivery in the ARA region.
“The Titan LNG Flex-Fueler can act as a catalyst for a substantial increase in demand for LNG conversion – with current retrofitting costs decreasing as tanks and cryogenic equipment become cheaper due to economies of scale. We are working with other industry stakeholders, including ports, shipowners and operators as well as class to further develop the design and classification of the Titan LNG Flex-Fueler bunkering pontoon in advance of its official launch in Q1 2018.”
The shipping industry is seeing an increase in demand for LNG and bunkering infrastructure in line with MARPOL Annex VI regulations that stipulates the requirement to burn clean fuel (with a sulfur content of less than 0.1 percent) in Emission Control Areas (ECA’s). A global 0.5 percent sulfur limit could be implemented as early as 2020.
With the price of crude predicted to rise to $55 per barrel from mid-2017, the return on investment (ROI) in switching to LNG is reduced to less than five years, says Titan LNG. The ROI will further accelerate as the global 0.5 percent sulfur limit is implemented in 2020, in conjunction with crude prices climbing to between $60 and $80 per barrel. This will act as a catalyst for a substantial increase in demand for LNG conversion, as newbuild and retrofitting costs are decreasing, says the company.