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Low-Sulfur Bunker Demand Jumps at Rotterdam

Source: Port of Rotterdam

By The Maritime Executive 02-20-2020 05:58:21

The Port of Rotterdam has experienced a jump in demand for LNG, bio and low-sulfur bunkers over the past year.

In December 2019, sales of low-sulfur bunker oil with a maximum sulfur content of 0.5 percent, VLSFO, accounted for 62 percent of the fuel oil sold. Over the entire last quarter, 48 percent of the fuel oil sold was VLSFO. The largest amount of bunkers sold in Rotterdam are for intercontinental transport.

In addition to the sales of VLSFO, the sale of LNG bunkers more than tripled from 9,483 tonnes to 31,944 tonnes. For the first time, the sale of biofuel bunkers also became significant. Throughout 2019, two percent of sales of fuel oil and 0.5 percent of distillates contained a biofuel component. However, sales of biofuel bunkers increased in the fourth quarter in particular. The admixture percentages of these bunkers vary between five and 50 percent. Most common is 20-30 percent.

Waterways become climate-neutral transport routes

E.ON, the Port of Rotterdam Authority and DeltaPort Niederrheinhäfen have also undertaken to ensure that freight and passenger ships with climate-neutral propulsion can exchange battery containers or refuel hydrogen in the ports. The aim is to enable climate-neutral goods transport between Rotterdam and the European hinterland by 2050.

The pilot concept will initially focus on the German inland DeltaPort location in Voerde and Wesel, which will be developed into a sustainable port network. Currently, aluminum producer Trimet generates residual heat from which E.ON can produce new energy. The infrastructure will be designed in such a way that ships, trains and trucks can refuel hydrogen or recharge their batteries in the port. The concept should be transferable to other ports in Europe, say the partners.