European Ports Support LNG Bunkering, Cool on Cold Ironing

Thursday November 28, 2013

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) threw its support behind a European Union (EU) effort to provide a liquefied natural gas (LNG) refuelling network at major Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) ports in a statement Monday, but questioned requirements for cold ironing facilities.

Commenting on a vote by the Transport Committee of the European Parliament on plans for an alternative fuels infrastructure, ESPO Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost said the committee took the right approach by supporting LNG deployment that accounts for bunkering markets and distances between ports.

However, ESPO questioned the proposal's requirement that core ports provide shore-side electricity to most ships berthed close to residential areas.

"European ports have been actively supporting this technology and exploring the possibility of providing shore side electricity in their berths," Ryckbost said.

"This has in cases lead to successful implementation projects.

"However, in other cases port feasibility studies show a lack of significant environmental benefits and disproportionate high investment costs."

A plenary vote on the plan is scheduled for February 2014.

TEN-T is providing €105 million ($138 million) for seven LNG bunkering projects this year.