Tag Archive for: LNG

RePort project nearing its close – 26 trucks modified to run on natural gas

On the 10th of June 2020, the final training organised under the RePort project took place, which focused on the efficient driving techniques of vehicles equipped with natural gas. The participants followed strict health and safety guidelines applied in accordance with the Spanish government guidelines aimed to limit the spread of Covid-19.

The training consisted of a theoretical class on efficient driving techniques of trucks transformed to run on Natural Gas under the framework of the RePort project, as well as practical workshops in said trucks and with drivers who have attended previous theoretical parts of the training but had yet to complete the practical aspects.

In total, throughout the lifetime of the project, 26 trucks have been adapted to carry natural gas, and their respective drivers have received the corresponding training to operate them safely and efficiently.

The RePort project begun in January 2016. It aims to reduce the air pollutant and acoustic emissions at the Port of Barcelona, with the overall goal of improving the air quality of the city. The project, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, is nearing its end.

RePort - Mobilitat Eco

The overall goal of the RePort has been to develop an innovative technology to convert Diesel engines into Dual-Fuel ones, making it possible for them to run on gas, therewith making them more sustainable and less polluting. The partners have been contributing to the consolidation of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as a real, efficient and sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuels. This helped contribute to the development of a logistics hub within the port area where trucks run on these alternative fuels. This has been in line with the Port of Barcelona’s Sustainable Development Plan, which has set guidelines for a new and more sustainable industrial transportation sector to emerge in the Catalan capital.

The partners involved in RePort are:

The RePort project will finalise in July 2020.

The Port of Barcelona completes the RePort project with 26 trucks converted to dual-fuel

The RePort project, led by the Port of Barcelona is making positive progress and preparing for its final phase. The initiative aims to promote natural gas as an alternative fuel for trucks.

“Today we already have 25 trucks transformed to support compressed natural gas (CNG), and of the remaining one will be transformed to liquefied natural gas (LNG). For this we will put some LNG tanks and adapt the engine so it can work with both diesel and gas,” explained Daniel Ruiz, environmental consultant for the introduction of Liquefied Natural Gas to the Port of Barcelona.

On the 19th of February Daniel Ruiz presided over the general assembly of the RePort project. The meeting aimed to clarify the last points of the final phase of the project, which is scheduled to end on 15 April this year. This included “closing the technical part of the project and the economic justification, where all the documentation must be submitted in order to process the grant”. Also, the meeting served to “talk about the last transformation of the trucks to LNG”.

According to Ruiz, the transformed trucks correspond to different companies that are part of the Association of Container Transport Companies (ATEC according to its Spanish name).

In the words of Daniel Ruiz, the most important thing of this initiative, led and coordinated by the Port of Barcelonam, is the “reduction of emissions of NOx and CO2”, alongside the “reduction of the economic bill, as the use of natural gas results in less consumed diesel, therefore making it more profitable for truckers”.

The RePort project

 The RePort project planned for “the transformation of 26 trucks that operate in the Port of Barcelona and transport containers of goods, transforming them from diesel to the dual-fuel mode, with the use of compressed natural gas or liquefied natural gas,” said Daniel Ruiz, from the Port of Barcelona.

RePort is funded by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund under the Catalan FEDER Operational Programme, managed by Acció, the Catalan Government’s agency for business competitiveness.

The project partners are the Association of Container Transporters (ATEC), Gas Natural Fenosa, Generalitat de Catalunya, Dimsport Spain, IDIADA or the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, and the Escola Europea-Intermodal Transport, among others.

Daniel Ruiz reiterated that “the transformation of the engines has consisted of the installation of a switchboard”, which controls the injection of gas into the engine and gas tanks. Of the trucks that are part of the project, 25 have a deposit of compressed natural gas and one has been equipped with liquefied natural gas.

For more information about the project, you can visit the project pages:




Diario del Puerto

LNGHIVE2 Project to promote LNG use in Spanish Ports

A project which will promote the use of LNG as fuel in Spanish ports has been selected by the European Commission (EC) for funding.

The EC will contribute approximately EUR3m to the EUR14m ‘LNGHIVE2: Infrastructure and Logistics Solutions’ project to encourage LNG in maritime and rail transport, coordinated by energy company Enagás and promoted by the Spanish Govenment’s Ports of the State. The project includes the adaptation of the regasification plants of Huelva and Sagunto (Valencia) so that they can offer LNG supply services as fuel.

With an expected end date of 2022, the initiative will also introduce LNG in the ‘Green Railway Corridor’ between the Port of Huelva and the railway terminal of Majarabique, of ADIF, in Seville. In particular, the project includes the construction of a LNG supply station in said terminal and the conversion of a diesel traction locomotive to LNG.

LNG supply points

Aside from Enagás and Ports of the State, six partners are participating in the project, including the Port Authority of Huelva, RENFE Mercancías, ADIF, Saggas, Marflet Marine and Valencia Port Foundation.

‘LNGHIVE2 is part of the institutional strategy of deploying LNG supply points in ports and associated market development, promoted by the Ministry of Public Works through State Ports. Under this strategy, a Balearia initiative consisting of the conversion of five vessels for the use of LNG as fuel has also been selected.

LNGHIVE2 is one of the measures of the National Action Framework for Alternative Energies in Transport approved by the EU’s Council of Ministers in December 2016 and aims to comply with Directive 94/2014 of the European Commission, which represents a clear commitment to alternative fuels in the transport sector.

Enagás is currently also coordinating CORE LNGas hive, led by Puertos del Estado.

Source: Green Port

More Ports becoming “LNG ready”

Developments in bunkering infrastructure are enabling more ports to call themselves ‘LNG ready’ allowing them to better cater for the increase in LNG fuelled ships.

Propelled by the advancement of LNG as a ship fuel and its role in helping the maritime industry move closer to zero-emissions shipping, ports including Hamburg and Busan have committed to introducing bunkering infrastructure and facilities on a long-term basis.

Green technology will be a major focus at the upcoming SMM exhibition, where “the Green Route will guide visitors to exhibition stands relevant for green technologies in all 13 exhibition halls,” said Claus Ulrich Selbach, business unit director – Maritime and Technology Fairs & Exhibitions at Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH.

“Hall A5 will again be dedicated exclusively to green propulsion, and at the global maritime environmental congress (gmec) international experts will gather to share their views. This event should not leave any questions unanswered,” he added.

LNG technology

Technology solutions such as Becker Marine Systems’ LNG PowerPac, currently in use at the Port of Hamburg, demonstrate that LNG can be effectively used to supply electricity to ships at berth, aiding the progress of cold ironing, another green power solution tipped to significantly reduce emissions.

The environment in the context of sustainability will also be another key focus at the exhibition, with discussion set for many of the subject-specific conferences, as well as at the global maritime environmental congress (gmec) on 5 September.

Under the motto ‘Compliance – Control – Champions’, all panel discussions will revolve around current and future challenges resulting from tighter environmental regulations.

Source: Green Port

From LNG to Hydrogen? Pitfalls and Possibilities

Liquid hydrogen could get a leg up from the industry’s experience with LNG propulsion,writes Stevie Knight.

Gerd-Michael Wuersig, DNV-GL’s business director for Alternative Fuels explains: “While hydrogen doesn’t come under the IGF code as yet, from my point of view I’d say the maritime industry’s hesitancy is more due to missing experience; most of the process technology and safety principles that relate to LNG will relate to hydrogen, and while there are different factors involved, in the end the risk level will not be very different. This is the good news.”

The bad news is that while your shipboard or bunkering design might look very similar, the components, like valves, hoses and piping are not necessarily interchangeable: “It’s a smaller molecule and it can escape through joints or seals that would retain LNG,” he adds. “You’d have to look to see if the current components would be suitable – but most likely I think you’ll have changes in your equipment,” says Dr Wuersig. And, he adds, it’ll work out quite a bit more pricey.

However, he also points out that the while it may be a novel application, the technology itself is not new.Joe Pratt underlines this point: “The equipment and expertise has been in existence for a long time. In North America, for example, LH2 production, handling, and distribution have been mature for over 50 years… So a lot of the components will come off the shelf.”

More, LNG developments can’t help much here as at this point the design deviates sharply. Two characteristics of LH2 are low density and low boiling temperature: together these demand an extremely low heat flux through the tank walls.

Dr Wuersig explains that the normal 40cm LNG insulation “just won’t work”. He says a moderately large LNG tank could lose 0.2% of its total volume a day but “store hydrogen in the same kind of tank and you would actually lose 5% of the contents every day to vaporisation”.

“Therefore to get down to roughly the same boil off rate the insulation of the hydrogen tank must be about 10 times more efficient than an LNG tank,” says Dr Wuersig. “In fact you need a system that is gas tight from the outside as well as the inside with no chance of the air finding its way into the insulation – if it does it will condense, and this will suck yet more air in.”

A multilayer approach with an evacuated space between the inner and outer shell is already being used to keep LH2 and liquid helium cold in the industrial sector, but there’s only one project so far – for a KHI-designed ship – that’s being scaled for the marine trading world, although the eventual development of larger vessels will have an advantage because higher capacity tanks exhibit a lower boil off rate.

There are other dissimilarities between LNG and LH2. Dr Pratt says when it comes to bunkering, “the biggest difference is the much colder temperature of LH2” and explains that unlike LNG, H2 is actually colder than oxygen or nitrogen. While LNG can hover at -163°C, liquid hydrogen needs to be kept at -253°C.

So, “even through vacuum insulation you will get very cold temperature on the outside of the pipe that can freeze or condense oxygen and nitrogen out of the air”.  For practical purposes, not only do you need a very high grade of insulation, “there will be some drip pans and possibly restrictions on fuelling over asphalt to prevent any fire possibility as a result of having pure oxygen forming around the pipes”, said Dr Pratt.


Hydrogen is already the chosen option for a number of smaller vessels with an environmental agenda: “Norway is working on constructing hydrogen fuelled vessels, mostly battery hybrids, as it is aiming for zero emissions in the fjords,” says Dr Wuersig. The autonomous Energy Observer, which electrolyses seawater for fuel, has recently set off on a six year missionand Dr Pratt is himself pursuing the build of a small, multipurpose freight carrier for California through GGZEM.

But, the most obvious question is: would hydrogen be a useful alternative for big ships?

First of all, bigger ships will need to bunker liquefied, not compressed, hydrogen. Dr Pratt says: “In general, it’s always better to go to LH2 if you can get it and afford the cost difference – it gives you more range or longer times between refuelling than gas, no matter what the size of the vessel.” This obviously needs the development of infrastructure – and here again, the industry experience with LNG will be invaluable – but on which kinds of vessels could it find a home?

Sandia’s research Practical Application Limits of Fuel Cells and Batteries for Zero Emission Vessels* (at the time lead by Dr Pratt), has dug deep into the nitty-gritty, with a look at no less than 14 possible ships and their associated routes.

This takes a detailed look not just at the power required, but whether the ship could actually accommodate the necessary architecture – helped of course by the fact that fuel cells, unlike a shaft drive engine, can be positioned in a variety of areas.

One of the 14 studies was the 397m Emma Maersk. Despite the large power and energy requirements, the research showed that the ship is able to hold a fuel cell powerplant using liquid hydrogen, scaled for a single voyage from Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia to Port Said, Egypt with a total voyage time of 256hr at an average speed of 19.6 knots and average shaft power of 36.1MW. This would require bunkering with 616t of LH2.

Likewise, a detailed look at Colombo Express (335m) showed that it could carry out three of its typical, single trips between Singapore and Colombo, Sri Lanka, fuelled with 183t of LH2.

The devil is in the detail. Dr Wuersig points out that hydrogen has a low energy density by volume (though not by weight) which is only around 40% of that LNG. As already pointed out, LH2 isn’t heavy, but one tonne of it takes up over 14,128 litres by volume: this means 8,500m3 of LH2 for that Emma Maersk journey on LH2.

Could it be done? Yes, but it’s tricky as deep sea routes aren’t made up of single journeys. Taking the kind of operational profile that’s used onboard the latest LNG-fuelled CMA CGM ships which require an 18,000m3 tank installed underneath the wheelhouse, “you’d need 50,000m3 instead” he says. Further, he estimates the Asia-Europe string is 40 days: therefore the Emma Maersk would need around 72,000m3 to transit this on LH2 alone.

However, the case is different for shorter runs: according to the Sandia study, Colombo Express fairs better: 833m3 for that Singapore-Colombo single trip (2,500m3 for three journeys).

More, both agree that when it gets to ropax crossings like those between the east coast of the UK and Rotterdam, there’s obviously an advantage as it’s a short, regular, point-to-point journey “and you do need the infrastructure to deliver the hydrogen, something that’s caused other viable projects to fail” says Dr Pratt. Certainly Sandia’s investigation showed that Pride of Hull has room for a fuel cell and LH2 tank scaled for 15.8t of fuel, yielding no less than five crossings on just one fill up.

Dr Wuersig adds there are many other areas that might see hydrogen as a viable alternative for slightly larger ships on a regular run: “Baltic carriers for example, could benefit because they could be filling up every few days; then there’s the US-Hawaii traffic on the Jones Act ships.” More, he adds that Chinese river traffic is presently looking LNG, but there could soon be a lot of renewable energy capacity in China that might not all be easily absorbed by the grid “which might change the maths when it comes to the generation of sustainable fuels”.

It’s not just China, some of the windfarms and renewable arrays around offshore Europe are presently considering generating hydrogen in their off-peak periods.

More, Sandia’s study on the offshore supply vessel Maersk Frontier showed it could take on no less than 28 single trips (14 round trips) on the 166nm journey between home port in Aberdeen UK and the Janice offshore facility at an average 9.7 knots, so LH2 could be worthwhile for wider ranging applications. Even closer to realisation is Zero-V, a coastal research vessel concept by Glosten, Sandia and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography that’s just been given AIP by DNV GL. Supported by bunkering of its 11,000kg capacity tanks at four ports along the US West Coast, it will have a 10kn range of 2,400 nautical miles.

However, another niggling detail presents itself: LH2 is also expensive to create: “At present production costs alone come to around $2.00 per litre, that’s without the base feed,” says Dr Wuersig. And no, it probably won’t get a lot cheaper – it’s down to the physics. The amount of energy required for liquefying hydrogen takes a huge 30% slice out of the total, compared to about 5% for LNG.

This is one of the main reasons that hydrogen hasn’t already found a niche: however, we’ve not experienced this regulatory landscape before, points out Dr Wuersig. “If we keep to our carbon ambitions, then yes, there will be reason to employ hydrogen as one of a number of multiple fuel options.”

* Practical Application Limits of Fuel Cells and Batteries for Zero Emission Vessels (http://energy.sandia.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/SAND2017-12665.pdf). 


The LH2 demonstrator is not the first long-range hydrogen supply chain project targeting Japan.

Last year, Chiyoda Corp started to work on transporting hydrogen extracted from natural gas at an LNG plant in Brunei and delivering it to the city of Kawasaki in Japan – but rather than chilling to -253°C, the hydrogen is bound to a carrier substance and carried in simple chemical tankers which slot neatly into the existing supply-chain technology. No need for expensive cryogenics.

Transforming hydrogen into an ambient liquid means binding it with a carrier substance, such as toluene, converting it to methyl cyclohexane (MCH) by hydrogenation: three H2 molecules attach to every molecule of toluene. At the other end it’s reconverted to hydrogen gas, the toluene being recovered for the next round.

Professor Kazuyuki Ouchi, University of Tokyo explains that the density, while not quite as high as LH2 (500 times that of hydrogen gas, as compared to 700 times) “it is of the same order” so yields a tolerably similar output.

Interestingly, the project, which is expected to start production in 2020 with an output of 210 tonnes (enough to fill up 40,000 fuel cell vehicles), has Mitsubishi Corporation, NYK and Mitsui onboard.

More, while it’s starting with a fossil fuel base, Chiyoda believes that production will eventually move to renewably-derived hydrogen.

Source: The Motorship

Natural gas consolidates itself as the future of energy

Natural gas seems to have become strong in some segments of transport due to its own merits and, in view of how the associated technology is evolving.

In the opinion of many experts, natural gas is to play an important role in the short and medium term in the decarbonisation of the world economy, as a mere energy of transition towards a future dominated by electric power.

However, in view of the current technological and industrial development, the panorama of a transport powered by electricity as the main energy source, while waiting for the batteries to gain autonomy and lighten their weight, only seems realistic in the very long term, while the option of having an energy mix that can serve as an effective alternative to oil derivatives is gaining strength.

In contrast, in recent years the applications of natural gas, both in land and maritime transport, have not stopped growing and, in view of the investments committed in different areas for the coming years, it does not seem that this energy will go to decay.

Moreover, it seems, as some experts indicate, that natural gas will witness an important takeoff in the decade of 2020.

Truck manufacturers have multiplied their supply of gas vehicles in recent years, while they have been bringing the performance of engines powered by this energy to those of other comparable units that use diesel as fuel, just in a segment of activity in which electric batteries cannot compete due to their lower autonomy and their weight, which comes at the cost of load capacity.

On the other hand, in maritime transport, natural gas seems to be truly established as an alternative technology for the future, just when the sector is facing a radical change in its levels of polluting emissions. This is evidenced by both the acquisition of new ships propelled by natural gas that have made different shipping companies, as well as investments in facilities to supply gas vessels and carry out bunkering operations in ports in different areas of the world.

In maritime transport, investments tend to move large sums of money over long periods of time, so the sector is looking for proven and reliable technologies that can be profitable in the medium and long term, something that they seem to have found in natural gas.

History has shown that the most realistic technologies have been imposed on more avant-garde and risky proposals, precisely because of their greater capacity to adapt to the real needs of markets, companies and people.

Natural gas seems to have become strong in some segments of transport due to its own merits and, in view of how the state of the art is evolving in the past, it seems that it is here to stay.

Source: Cadena de Suministro

Report: LNG Comparable to Other Fossil Fuels

There is no widely available fuel, including LNG, to manage climate change and local pollutants in tandem, according to a recent study by researchers at The University of Manchester.

The researchers carried out a life cycle assessment of current and future fuels used by the shipping companies to quantify their environmental impacts. The alternative fuels assessed in the study were LNG, methanol, liquid hydrogen, biodiesel, straight vegetable oil and bio-LNG. They measured the impacts of local pollutants (sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter) and greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide).

Fuels can incur the release of emissions at various stages of their life-cycle, for example during refining or transportation, or during the cultivation of the fuel if it is bio-derived. The latter may have impacts associated with cultivation, land-use change and agricultural inputs such as fertilizers. Although the upstream emissions are not attributed to the shipping sector, it is essential to ensure wider implications of fuel switches are accounted for, say the researchers. Failure to take upstream emissions into account in any sectoral assessment risks locking in carbon intensive solutions.

Dr Paul Gilbert, Senior Lecturer in Climate Change Mitigation, said: “In particular, LNG is a promising option for meeting existing regulation, but it is not a low greenhouse gas emissions fuel.

“To understand the full extent of the environmental implications it is important to consider the emissions released over the full life-cycle and not just during fuel combustion. Otherwise, there is a risk of misleading the industry and policy on the true emission penalties of any alternative fuels.”

The two conventional fossil fuels and LNG produce comparable baseline greenhouse gas emissions. When taking into account non-CO2 emissions, any reductions of greenhouse gas emissions in terms of CO2e are negligible for LNG, states the study. The main life-cycle hot-spots include liquefaction efficiency; extent of venting and flaring; and methane slip – the unintended release of methane during ship operation.

Even under idealized conditions, reductions of CO2 emissions are strictly limited. Bio-LNG produced from agricultural waste is an exception. The results show that it has the potential to cut CO2 emissions significantly. However, feedstock is limited.

The figure (sourced from the Journal of Cleaner Production) shows lifecycle emissions in terms of carbon dioxide equivalents, distinguishing between upstream and operational emissions.

The study says effort needs to be directed at overcoming barriers to exploiting the identified low carbon potential of fuels or finding alternatives. Gilbert said it is important to ensure that any short-term measure doesn’t diminish the potential roll-out of low carbon fuels, in particular when taking into account the long life times of ships and fuel supply infrastructure.

Source: Maritime Executive