LNG is liquefied natural gas. It can also be produced from biomass and is then called Bio-LNG. LNG is a fuel which is optimally suited for heavy freight transport over road and inland waterways. It is a clean and quiet alternative to traditional fossil fuels like diesel. Come 2015/2016, the shipping industry will be subjected to new regulations restricting the use of polluting gas and diesel fuel. LNG is an excellent alternative; however, investing in LNG demands much dedication from entrepreneurs.
Advantages of transportation with LNG
Transportation with LNG results in:
- very low emissions of particulates
- no emission of SO2
- 80 to 90% lower emissions of NO2
- 10 to 20% lower CO2 emissions
- by mixing Bio-LNG with biogas, up to 80% lower CO2 emissions
- less noise pollution; a truck or ship operating on LNG drives and cruises more quietly
LNG filling stations
According to prognoses, in 2015, 80 heavy trucks will be using LNG in the Arnhem-Nijmegen region. At the end of 2013, the first LNG filling station in the region opened at the industrial estate Innofase in Duiven. The number of filling stations is expected to soon rise to 3.
Inland shipping with LNG
Ships, with their heavy diesel engines, contribute greatly to air pollution. The Waal is considered the most polluted waterway of the region. Because of this, the transportation industry is searching for alternatives such as LNG. By transitioning to LNG, the industry will make a huge contribution to improved air quality. Currently, 4 vessels using LNG are in operation and many more are in development. As the market grows, it would become profitable to setup up LNG bunker stations along the waterways. There are several initiatives in development within the region, including by GDF Suez and Rotra.
In a cross border project, Dutch and North Rhine-Westphalian partners have been researching the potential for using LNG in heavy freight transport via inland shipping and road transport. The results were published in September 2014. The objective is to launch a project based on these results within the framework of the Interreg programme.
The Arnhem-Nijmegen region is strategically located between the Randstad and the German Ruhr region and thus the shipping of goods over the Waal and the Rhine constitutes a significant portion of freight transport in the region. This is a position which can be further exploited economically by working together across the entire supply chain, developing smart IT solutions and investing in clean fuel technologies.
Subsidies for clean shipping
Per tonne, inland shipping is the most economical form of transport and results in the lowest CO2 levels. However, the emission of pollutants is relatively high. Thus, the inland shipping industry poses a significant environmental problem in the region. In 2014, a ‘Clean Shipping’ subsidy was instituted in the hopes of making inland shipping more sustainable. This is being used to support a number of innovative projects. The Arnhem-Nijmegen city region is seeking to challenge players in the shipping industry to come up with innovative measures and solutions.
Investments in clean shipping should lead to:
- sustainable shipping
- reduced emissions of NO2, particulates and CO2
- more competitive positioning versus road transport
- a stronger economic position of shipping in freight transport.