LNG as An Alternative? – Answers from the Training Session

The EU funded project “MarTech LNG” represented in the German partner region by Wismar University of Applied Sciences and ATI erc gGmbH launches with the two-day workshop in the Technology Centre Warnemünde a wide-ranging debate on alternative ship fuels in the maritime traffic.

A specific focus is placed on LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) – a liquefied natural gas as a low-emission alternative maritime technology. 600 m3 natural gas can be compressed by means of cooling up to –162° to 1 m3. This enables a high energy density, which appears to be economically viable in the next future when taking into account decreasing mineral oil resources.
Such countries as Norway and the USA have been using this technology already for years, and other countries are now on the way on reengineering their land- or water-based infrastructure capable to adapt to LNG technology. In Germany, however, business stakeholders have kept in the background of introducing this technology. There still exists a series of questions in Germany regarding production, bunkering and handling LNG as well as in terms of legal framework conditions. Ship owners face the question of refitting their ships, ports conduct studies and verify possible construction of bunkering stations, and there is a need for new land-based infrastructure for using LNG as well.
Indeed, the countdown has started: from the 1 January 2015 at the latest when the new sulphur limits will be introduced in the North and the Baltic Sea the use of oil has its end as a marine fuel. As a result, the change in the maritime industry is just around the corner. According to the estimations, around 60.000 ships have to shift to a new maritime fuel by 2020. This change concerns all ship types and maritime traffic as well. A new alternative fuel for ships is needed. LNG stands for one of the possible alternatives.
In this light, it is high time for a debate on specific course of actions for all related stakeholders. The project partners from “MarTech LNG” from five South Baltic Sea adjacent regions funded by the South Baltic Programme 2007-2013 have recognised this need and provide with the trainings’ contents the corresponding communication space for the respective regional stakeholders.
Stakeholders from the maritime industry, representatives form the Ministry of Energy, Infrastructure and State Development Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and researchers from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the catchment area (Hamburg) met on 9 January 2014 in the Technology Centre Warnemünde to discuss business opportunities and research prospects as well as to give needed political impetus regarding the introduction and use of LNG. The corresponding expertise in the frame of the training was provided by the ship builders and representatives of different service providers from the ports of Rostock and Hamburg as well as by project partners from Szczecin and Klaipeda.
On 10 January 2014, the training session proceeds with a practical training on handling LNG. In the frame of this training, participants can get practical insights in issues related to LNG ships steering in the ports, use of safety guidelines and practice for emergency situations. This practical training and contents constitute a novelty for the German stakeholders concerned, since there are no LNG terminals built in Germany yet. Upcoming business and technological LNG trainings will take place in the Swedish, Lithuanian and Polish partner regions.
Laima Maknyte
Wismar University of Applied Sciences / EU Project Centre
Tel.: +493841 753 7297
Dated on: 10.01.2014


Below You can find agenda, presentations and participant lists from the training session: