At the initiative of the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR) and its partners (National LNG platform, LNG Masterplan, Pro Danube, Port of Antwerp, Port of Rotterdam, Energy Valley, LNG Initiative Nordwest, Mariko), an international symposium on the LNG (liquefied natural gas) strategy for inland navigation took place on 8 October at the Maison de la Région Alsace in Strasbourg.
This symposium attracted more than 100 participants from numerous European countries concerned by the issue of the use, carriage and supply of LNG for inland navigation and ports.
Three panel discussions provided a platform for exploring thinking, initially on supply infrastructure and regulationrelated issues, then on market and commercial strategy-related issues and finally on collaboration and the financing of activities relating to the development of innovative projects using LNG.
Participants urged greater coherence in the support provided by the European Union for the development of LNG, and in particular a strengthening of legal certainty in the context of the new regulations on emissions by non-road mobile machinery, currently being discussed within the European Union. Indeed, the development of LNG must be accompanied by ambitious emissions limits, as well all test cycles that are more representative of real operating conditions, without however requiring additional investment in the form of post-treatment systems.
Shipowners reported at first hand on their experience with LNG-propelled vessels. Even if the current market situation was assessed as being difficult on
account of the steep fall in the price of oil, the global oversupply of LNG could be a good medium to longterm leading indicator of the future competitiveness
of LNG. Taking advantage of potential cost reductions as regards LNG equipment, especially tanks, and progress in setting up the supply chain could further accelerate the introduction of LNG in inland navigation.
It was pointed out that the CCNR has played an active role in developing a regulatory framework governing the use of LNG as a fuel by inland vessels,
thus supporting the profession’s efforts to reduce both pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by the inland navigation sector and its operating costs. Following an initial regulatory package adopted in June, the entire body of regulation applicable to vessels using LNG as a fuel will be adopted by the end of the year, ensuring high safety standards and, at the same time, the necessary legal certainty for investors. In particular, those taking part in the symposium emphasised their interest in stable technical requirements for vessels and a harmonised bunker checklist.
This information is based on the press release published by the CCNR. CCNR Press Release, 13 October 2015 (EN) CCNR Press Release, 13 October 2015 (FR) CCNR Press Release, 13 October 2015 (DE) CCNR Press Release, 13 October 2015 (NL)