Antwerp Seeks Operator for Permanent LNG Bunkering Station for Barges

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Truck-to-ship bunkering at the Port of Antwerp is already available. Photo courtesy Antwerp Port Authority

The Port of Antwerp is seeking an operator for a permanent LNG bunkering station for barges operating within European waters.

The Antwerp Port Authority on Tuesday issued an official Request for Proposals for a five-year concession to operate a planned LNG bunkering station at the port, as well as for maintenance and promotion of the facility.

Antwerp Port Authority is one of the partners in the LNG Master Plan for the Rhine-Main-Danube, which is aimed at promoting LNG as a fuel and as a cargo for European barges. While truck-to-ship LNG bunkering already exists at the port, under the Master Plan, the port is building a fixed LNG bunkering station for barges, partially subsidized by the European Commission’s TEN-T program, that will make LNG fuel continuously available for barges.

The Antwerp Port Authority says that interested parties have until 5 January 2015 to submit their proposals to Antwerp Port Authority.

The specifications for construction of the station are expected to distributed this month following the selection of candidates responding to a tender for the design and construction of the station.

The port says the permanent LNG bunkering station for barges in the port of Antwerp should be operational by the beginning of 2016.

In other European LNG bunkering news, The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Antwerp Port Authority, Port of Rotterdam and Port of Zeebrugge participated last month in an LNG bunkering focus group discussion targeting two areas on LNG bunkering: harmonizing the technical standards and procedures of LNG bunkering and examining risk management, emergency procedures and crew competency standards for international shipping.

Eddy Bruyninckx, CEO of the Port of Antwerp, commented: “Antwerp has the ambition to be the most sustainable port in the Hamburg-Le Havre range. Being sustainable is not a trend for the port of Antwerp, it has become a way of managing our port. Our steps towards the creation of the possibility for ships to bunker LNG in our port form part of this sustainable management. Already in 2011 we expressed our strong belief in LNG as a fuel for the future. In the past years we developed and published procedures for the safe bunkering of LNG as a shipping fuel, we looked into the possibility to build a LNG bunkership and we are currently in the process of tendering a candidate to build and operate a LNG bunker station for barges. The European Union is supporting us, but of course the cooperation with other ports with an outstanding knowledge and expertise in LNG, like Rotterdam, Singapore and Zeebrugge are of great importance to successfully complete the pioneering work we are doing within the bunkering of LNG as a fuel for ships.”

The Request for Proposal for operating the LNG barge bunkering station is available at http://www.portofantwerp.com/nl/exploitatie-lng-bunker (in Dutch only).