Belgian Fluxys and Dutch Titan LNG joined forces to build the FlexFueler 002, a bunkering pontoon to make LNG more widely available as shipping fuel in the Antwerp port and region, Fluxys announced on Wednesday.
The pontoon, in which Titan LNG will be the long-term operator, will be commissioned by mid-2020 and will support the shipping industry in its switch to cleaner operations.
"The shipping industry is seeing an increase in demand for LNG and LNG bunkering infrastructure as regulations for sulfur content in shipping fuel have become stricter and will tighten even more in 2020. In this respect, switching to LNG immediately cuts emissions of sulfur and particulate matter to negligible levels, while emissions of nitrogen oxides are dramatically reduced and carbon emissions significantly lowered," Fluxys explained.
The company said the FlexFueler 002 LNG bunkering pontoon would have its home location in the port of Antwerp. It added that Fluxys has a concession at the port to provide LNG bunkering services and currently accommodates truck-to-ship bunkering on the site.
FlexFueler 002 is the second Titan LNG developed pontoon of its sort and identical to FlexFueler 001, which will come into service in Amsterdam in approximately three months.
From its home location, FlexFueler 002 will provide bunkering services throughout the Antwerp port and region to inland waterway vessels and small coasters.
The port of Antwerp is actively supporting this development to improve local air quality and has commissioned an LNG bunker map showing where ship-to-ship bunkering in the harbor area is supported.
"Our investment in the Antwerp LNG bunkering pontoon marks our commitment to offer concrete solutions to bring the energy transition forward and improve air quality. The pontoon is yet another link we are adding to the logistics chain in Belgium to make LNG more widely available as alternative fuel for ships.
"We are pleased to work with Titan LNG and combining Fluxys’ LNG experience of decades with Titan’s operational experience to contribute to the adoption of LNG in transportation fuel markets," said Pascal de Buck, CEO of Fluxys.
Also, Niels den Nijs, CEO of Titan LNG added that the use of LNG as a marine fuel is rapidly on the rise.
"We feel strengthened by our Fluxys partnership and have identified ample opportunities to expand the cooperation in other geographies. With FlexFueler001 and 002 providing back-up for each other, we can provide the operational certainty that ship owners require," he said.
By Murat Temizer