16 October 2013 02:00
  • European Commission grants 34 million euro for the development of a small-scale LNG chain in Rotterdam and Gothenburg, accommodating LNG supply for cleaner maritime transport
  • The collaboration between the ports for the infrastructure enables shipping companies to switch to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)-powered vessels
  • LNG allows the shipping industry to meet the stringent 2015 emission requirements for the North Sea, English Channel and Baltic Sea

The LNG Rotterdam-Gothenburg project has been acknowledged by the European Commission as a priority project for European transport infrastructure development. The Commission grants 34 million euro (SEK 305 million) to develop small-scale infrastructure for liquefied natural gas (LNG) as an efficient and cleaner alternative for fuel oil and diesel in the North and Baltic Sea region. The Dutch-Swedish LNG collaboration involves the ports of Rotterdam and Gothenburg, together with gas infrastructure companies Gasunie (the Netherlands) and Swedegas (Sweden) and the international tank storage provider Vopak. The decision of the Commission represents a clear support for the realization of this initiative, which aims at creating a new supply infrastructure for LNG in the maritime region of North Sea and Baltic Sea by 2015. LNG Rotterdam-Gothenburg is considered to be one of EU Commission's most prioritised ‘Motorways of the Seas’ projects.

There are essential environmental benefits to be gained from using LNG in transport and industry. For shipping, LNG as fuel poses lower sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide and particle emissions than conventional fuels. With LNG, shipping companies are able to meet the strict requirements of the Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA), which prohibits any sulphur emission exceeding 0.1 per cent in the North Sea, English Channel and Baltic by 2015.

The LNG initiatives in the port of Rotterdam and in the port of Gothenburg form a north and west European chain for maritime LNG supply. In Rotterdam, Gasunie and Vopak own the Gate terminal, where large shipments of LNG from all over the world arrive. Both companies are planning to extend the Gate terminal site with LNG break-bulk facilities, allowing the export of smaller parcels of LNG for redistribution to satellite terminals, such as the planned terminal in Gothenburg. Vopak and the Swedish gas infrastructure company Swedegas are planning a small-scale LNG terminal in Gothenburg to serve as key supply location for both shipping and industry in Scandinavia.

The collaboration creates an LNG connection between the largest port in Europe and the largest port in the Nordic region. Realization of the project will secure LNG supply facilities for the shipping companies, which is an important condition for shipping companies considering to invest in new LNG-powered vessels.