GAZPROM has announced it has signed a have signed a memorandum of understanding with the operator of the Baltic Sea port of Rostock, Hafen-Entwicklungs-gesellschaft Rostock mbH for cooperation in the LNG market.
According to GAZPROM the cooperation will focus on the development, marketing, and usage of LNG in road transport and shipping in the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The companies share the long-term goal of providing the infrastructure required to bunker LNG and will creating an additional sales channel for LNG.
GAZPROM noted establishing infrastructure at Germany’s largest multi-purpose Baltic Sea port will allow LNG to be delivered to Rostock – and thereby to Germany. The port of Rostock provides the necessary port space. The GAZPROM Group is also investigating transporting the LNG from intermediate storage to independent gas utilities by truck and supplying it for use in natural gas vehicles. The LNG will be shipped from the planned liquefaction plant in the Gulf of Finland.
“We look forward to working with GAZPROM. LNG has the best environment and safety balance of all the fuels used to power ships, and that allows shippers to meet the high environmental protection requirements”, says Ulrich Bauermeister, Managing Director of Hafen-Entwicklungsgesellschaft Rostock.
Stricter environmental standards will apply to shipping in the North Sea and Baltic Sea from 2015. Under the new standards, shipping fuel will be allowed to contain just 0.1 % sulphur instead of the 1.0 % currently permitted.
The Port of Antwerp announced it plans to set up a LNG bunkering station for barges. The plan calls for barges being able to fill up with LNG at a permanent bunkering station in the port of Antwerp by the beginning of 2016.
Truck-to-ship bunkering has already been possible in the port of Antwerp since 2012. Currently a truck collects LNG at the LNG import terminal in Zeebrugge and takes it to Antwerp. The truck then parks on the quay from where the LNG can be delivered to the barge. By building a permanent bunkering station LNG will be available in the port at all times. In this way Antwerp Port Authority is looking to break out of the “chicken-and-egg” scenario. By making LNG permanently available it is hoped that the barge industry will be more willing to make the necessary investments for switching to the environment-friendly fuel of LNG.
Wärtsilä and China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) have signed an agreement to establish a joint venture for manufacturing medium and large bore medium speed diesel and dual-fuel engines according to a Wärtsilä statement yesterday. The CSSC Wärtsilä Engine (Shanghai) Co. Ltd factory will be located at Lingang, Shanghai and is expected to have its first engine ready for delivery by the end of 2015 according to Wärtsilä. The company will in particular target the growing offshore and LNG markets, as well as the market for very large container vessels. The Wärtsilä share of the joint venture is 49 per cent and the size of Wärtsilä's equity investment is approximately EUR 12 million.
The new joint venture company, CSSC Wärtsilä Engine (Shanghai) Co. Ltd, together with two other already existing Wärtsilä joint ventures for medium speed engine production, will be able to offer the most complete portfolio of Wärtsilä branded medium speed engines in China. It will also be the first China-based company able to manufacture locally large bore medium speed diesel and dual-fuel engines. By being able to produce and deliver locally, the new joint venture will provide CSSC Group and other Chinese yards with closer access to the Wärtsilä range of engines with the benefits of faster delivery times and competitive pricing.
“This agreement marks an historic moment for our two companies, and it opens the door to exciting new opportunities. China is today the largest shipbuilding nation on earth, and CSSC is the largest shipbuilding company in China. Wärtsilä offers the marine industry’s broadest scope of products, solutions and services, and through this joint venture our two companies can deliver leading edge engine technology that can improve efficiencies and lower operating costs for owners and operators everywhere,” says Jaakko Eskola, Senior Executive Vice President & President, Ship Power, Wärtsilä Corporation.
TOTE announced the arrival of a dual-fuel slow-speed engine to General Dynamics’ NASSCO’s Shipyard. The company noted this marks the next phase of construction for TOTE’s Marlin Class vessels which TOTES states as being projected to be the world’s safest and cleanest containerships.
Doosan Engine, under license from MAN Diesel and Turbo, delivered the first 8L70ME-GI engine. Earlier this year, Doosan completed the engine’s Factory Acceptance Tests, a culmination of months of testing to ensure compliance with U.S. regulations and restrictions. TOTE is the launch customer of the ME-GI engine.
“The Marlin class vessels, powered by Doosan’s dual-fuel engine, will provide the most modern and reliable service available” stated Anthony Chiarello, President and CEO of TOTE. “These ships will increase shipping capacity, reduce air emissions, and ensure a cleaner environment for our workers and port communities.”
In addition to the engines, two 900 cubic meter tanks, manufactured by Cryos, were delivered. These stainless steel cryogenic tanks weigh 380 tons each and will store liquefied natural gas aboard the Marlin ships.
“The arrival of the dual-fuel main engine and LNG tanks at the NASSCO shipyard marks a milestone in the lead ship construction as well as a landmark in the era of green ship technology,” said NASSCO Program Manager for the TOTE Marlin Class, Eric Icke. The first vessel is nearly 40 percent complete and the start of construction on the second Marlin vessel in late May means the shipyard and its more than 3,000 skilled workers will be in full swing to ensure delivery of the Marlins in late 2015 and early 2016.
Above: 8L70ME-GI engine pierside at NASSCO
Lloyd’s Register announced it will class BC Ferries’ three gas-fuelled ‘Intermediate Class’ newbuildings. BC Ferries has recently awarded Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. of Gdansk, Poland contracts totaling $165 million to build three new ‘Intermediate Class’ ferries and Lloyd’s Register will class the new ferries.
Mark Wilson, BC Ferries’ Vice President of Engineering, said: “BC Ferries is very pleased to have Lloyd’s Register as the classification society on these new ‘Intermediate Class’ ferries. LR has had a strong relationship with BC Ferries over the years and has the necessary experience and presence in Canada as we make this important transition to LNG fuelled ferries.”
The new intermediate class vessels will be the first vessels in BC Ferries’ fleet to operate as dual-fuel capable, using LNG or diesel fuel for propulsion and power. “This is an exciting initiative for BC Ferries that can reduce upward pressure on fares due to lower fuel costs for LNG, and reduce the environmental emissions substantially as LNG is a cleaner and greener fuel compared to current alternatives,” added Wilson.
‘LR Class’ means that the ferries will be required to be built to Lloyd’s Register’s Rules, LR’s surveyors will be surveying the ship during construction to check for compliance and, once the ferries have been found to meet LR class requirements and placed in service, LR will survey the ships at regular intervals through their operational lives. In addition, LR’s LNG fuel expertise has been drawn on by BC Ferries to support overall risk management of the project to help ensure the safety of bunkering and all LNG operations.
Lloyd’s Register noted it is now working on a wide variety of LNG projects worldwide as LNG-fuelled shipping expands. These newbuilding projects include ferries in the Netherlands, Quebec and British Columbia in Canada; also, a bulk carrier for Swedish principals; car carrier project for Norwegian operators; an ice breaker in Finland; and joint development and investment projects with major shipowners and Asian shipyards, as well as infrastructure related consultancy projects with ports in Asia and Europe.
Wärtsilä announced today it has signed Technical Management Agreements with four Greek LNG ship owners, Maran Gas Maritime Inc, Dynagas Ltd, TMS Cardiff Gas Ltd and Thenamaris LNG Inc. All agreements cover Condition Based Maintenance for a total of 80 Wärtsilä 50DF dual-fuel engines for a five year period. The agreements have been signed between the third quarter of 2013 and the second quarter of 2014.
Technical Management Agreements include a Condition Based Maintenance system. Wärtsilä said in a statement the system enables feeding engine parameters into Wärtsilä's database, and the parameters are then evaluated by specialists at the Condition Based Monitoring center. Wärtsilä noted Condition Based Maintenance enables for early detection of performance issues, reduced downtime, optimized engine performance, predictable cash flow, and optimization of major overhauls. According to Wärtsilä due to constant monitoring, maintenance is predictive and based on the actual condition of the engine, thus bringing a significant opportunity to reduce operating costs.
The agreements with TMS Cardiff Gas Ltd and Thenamaris LNG Inc. also include Online Remote Support, which means that Wärtsilä's technical experts can support the LNG carrier's crew in real time via an online PC connection without the need for engineers to travel to the vessels.
"We expect that this agreement with Wärtsilä will lead to higher availability, increased efficiency, reduced maintenance cost, and reduced risk for the DF Engines installed on Maran Gas Fleet. Wärtsilä's technology, global presence and local support are essential elements for supporting this agreement," says Mr. Andreas Spertos, Technical Director, Maran Gas Maritime Inc.
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Yesterday U.S. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), Chair of the Joint Economic Committee and a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, led a bipartisan group of 32 senators in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker supporting proposal to permit LNG labeling that encourages consumer-friendly price comparisons.
The National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) proposal would allow LNG to be marketed in “diesel gallon equivalent” (DGE) units when sold as a motor vehicle fuel. The suggested modification would allow consumers to make understandable price comparisons for different fuel options, supporting the use of domestically produced natural gas in the transportation sector.
The full text of the senators’ letter can be found in PDF format HERE.
This week the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality announced that $7.7 million in grants are available to eligible individuals, businesses, governmental entities, and school districts, to replace older diesel vehicles with new alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles.
Eligible alternative fuel vehicles are limited to those powered by: electricity, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG), hydrogen, propane (LPG), or a mixture of fuels containing at least 85 percent methanol by volume (M85). A hybrid vehicle is defined as a motor vehicle with at least two different energy converters and two different energy storage systems on board the vehicle for the purpose of propelling the vehicle such as electric-diesel or electric-gasoline.
TCEQ Texas Clean Fleet Program grants, which are part of the Texas Emission Reductions Plan, are offered to eligible entities that own or lease a fleet of 75 or more on-road vehicles that are currently registered in Texas and intend to replace at least 20 on-road diesel vehicles. Projects must result in at least a 25 percent reduction of emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX).
Grants may be awarded for up to 80 percent of the purchase costs of the new vehicle. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis with projects ranked according to the cost per ton of NOX reduced by the project.
Recipients must agree to operate the grant-funded vehicles for a defined percentage of the annual mileage in the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria area, Dallas-Fort Worth area, Beaumont-Port Arthur area, Tyler-Longview area, Austin area, San Antonio area, El Paso area, Corpus Christi area, or Victoria area for five years or 400,000 miles, whichever occurs earlier.
For up-to-date program information, eligibility requirements, copies of the application forms, and a schedule of informational meetings, please visit www.terpgrants.org or call 800-919-TERP (8377).
Chart Industries, Inc. announced today it is the first LNG vehicle tank manufacturer to obtain European ECE R110 certification for a range of its products. The ECE R110 approved design features Chart’s ‘Integrated’ HLNG Tank, which is a self-contained LNG fuel storage system. Approval has been granted on a range of different tank lengths and diameters to facilitate multiple customer requirements.
"We expect that the new standard will open the door to increased use of LNG as an economic, efficient, safe and environmentally friendly vehicle fuel alternative to diesel in Europe. Furthermore, Chart’s certification is a further demonstration of our commitment to providing the best on-board and complete LNG & LBG vehicle fuel system solutions to the market," stated Hans Lonsain, President of Chart D&S Europe.
Chart has domestic operations located across the United States and an international presence in Asia, Australia and Europe.