It must be possible for barges to fill up with LNG at a permanent facility in the port of Antwerp by the beginning of 2019 at the latest. Truck-to-ship bunkering is already possible, but the port of Antwerp wishes to further augment the availability of LNG by setting up a permanent station. In comparison with the diesel fuel currently used by the European barge industry, LNG is a much cleaner fuel. The exhaust from a vessel driven by LNG contains hardly any particulates, and emissions of NOx are also drastically reduced.
Permanent supply It has already been possible to bunker with LNG in the port of Antwerp since 2012. LNG is collected by truck at the LNG import terminal in Zeebrugge and brought to the quayside in Antwerp from where it can be filled directly into the barge, a process known as truck-to-ship bunkering. Building a permanent facility will make LNG available in the port of Antwerp on a continuous basis. The Port of Antwerp is currently looking for a concessionary to build and operate an LNG bunkering and filling facility on quay 528. The Request for Proposals (RfP) represents a change of policy for the Port Authority: until the beginning of this year the plan was for the Port Authority to invest in such a facility itself and then to have it operated by an independent company. However, a changed view of the market has led the Port Authority to abandon this approach, and it has now chosen instead to issue an RfP for another company to build and subsequently operate the facility.
Quay 528 The Port Authority will make a site on quay 528 with an area of around 7,304 m² available for the concession. The site was chosen after extensive screening of possible locations in the port area, taking into account factors such as safety, waterfront access and road access. On the basis of a preliminary basic design for a facility with storage capacity of 450 m³, a safety study has shown that up to 45,000 m³ of LNG can be bunkered annually at a filling rate of 100 m³/hour. Additional safety precautions may ultimately permit a higher throughput, depending on the final detailed configuration of the facility.The five barges that currently run on LNG each have a tank with a capacity of 50 m³, enough for a return trip between Antwerp and the Swiss inland port of Basel on the Rhine.
Submission deadline Interested parties have until 5 October to submit their project proposals. The text of the RfP (in Dutch) can be consulted at the following link: http://www.portofantwerp.com/nl/lopende-bevragingen-en-beschikbare-gronden Further, the Port Authority does not exclude the possibility of transhipment of LNG from feeder ships, transhipment of LNG by trucks and LNG/CNG filling facilities for road users also being developed on the site. It is also possible for other fuels to be stored or made available on the site.
source: port of Antwerp