Antwerp Port Authority has been granted a subsidy by the European Commission to build an LNG bunkering station for barges. The preparatory study work has already started and the facility is due to enter operation in 2015.
The port of Antwerp has been for some time now been intensively studying the possibilities for making LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) available as a fuel for barges in a safe, efficient way. Indeed, as part of its sustainability policy the Port Authority aims not only to encourage but also to facilitate this development, especially as the stricter IMO standards for the sulphur content of fuels come into force in 2015.
The port of Antwerp already scored a Belgian “first” with truck-to-ship bunkering of the barge Argonon in December 2012. And in January 2013 the Port Authority appointed the classification company Det Norske Veritas to draw up procedures for an operational standard for bunkering vessels in the port in a safe, efficient way.
The details for the granting of the subsidy and how exactly it will be used will be announced in the near future. By approving the subsidy application the Commission has demonstrated its confidence in LNG as the fuel of the future.