The implementation of LNG as fuel improves the environmental performance of inland navigation due to the cleanness of LNG in comparison to gasoil (EN 590 diesel). In addition, LNG has a high potential to reduce fuel costs which are the main cost factor of inland barging (up to more than 50% of the total transport costs). Reduced air emissions, higher efficiency of a modernized fleet and increased competitiveness will be the basis for economic growth and for the creation of jobs in the navigation sector as well as a good alternative for the industry sectors suffering from high logistics costs. The implementation of LNG changes the modal split in favour of inland waterway transport, contributing as well to the modal shift objectives of the European Transport Policy.
LNG has been used as fuel for decades. Safe storage, safe transportation and safe usage are the mandated requirements for any fuel and LNG continues to demonstrate a long track record of safety in all these three areas.
In contrast to LNG, where combustion occurs if there is an ignition source hotter than 537,77° C, gasoline and diesel can combust from ignition sources that are hundreds of degrees lower in temperature and can be potentially flammable in concentrations in the air of up to 60%.
In comparison to diesel, typical emissions savings associated with natural gas are:
- Well-to-Wheel greenhouse gas reduction of between 11% and 20%
- NOx emissions reduced by 80%
- Particulate emissions reduced by 75%
In addition, when used as a vehicle fuel, LNG engines run quieter than diesel engines.
Compared to propane, typical emissions savings associated with natural gas are:
- Greenhouse gas emissions reduced by 15%
- NOx emissions reduced by up to 50%
- Particulate emissions reduced by up to 10%
Unlike crude oil and crude-derived liquid fuels, LNG spills do not require any remediation of soil, groundwater or surface waters because it evaporates immediately and dissipates quickly into the atmosphere.
As energy costs continue to grow, it is more and more necessary to find alternative fuels. Using LNG not only brings many environmental benefits, but also substantial economic savings. The technical innovation in the production of LNG has helped to position LNG as one of the least expensive transportable fuels.