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First marine liquefied biogas (LBG) order for Skangas

Skangas has supplied a leading Swedish shipping company and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) pioneer Furetank Rederi AB with Liquefied Biogas (LBG) - a renewable and environmentally friendly fuel. The Swedish LBG was delivered to Furetank’s M/T FURE VINGA from Skangas’ parent company Gasum’s biogas facility in Lidköping. The fueling took place at the port of Gothenburg, transferring the fuel directly from a tanker truck to the ship. It marks the first LBG delivery for the maritime sector for Skangas.

The vessel FURE VINGA was delivered from the shipyard in April this year and is one of two vessels in the company’s fleet powered by liquefied gas. Furetank has been using LNG as fuel since 2015 when the FURE WEST was converted for dual-fuel. The vessel has refuelled with liquefied biomethane (LBG) supplied by Skangas (photo courtesy Furetank Rederi).

Together with partners, Furetank is building five further sister vessels to the FURE VINGA, all of which will be dual-fuel and can be powered by LBG when the fuel is available. The vessels will be trading in North Europe and will benefit from Skangas’ LNG supply network in the region. Skangas is already supporting Furetank’s other LNG-fueled vessels in ports and at sea

Further to the environmental benefits of using LNG instead of conventional bunker oils, LBG has similar or better engine operational characteristics compared with LNG.

Running vessels on liquefied natural gas is our contribution to a more environmentally friendly environment. We will, however, contribute by increasing the sustainability. Using liquefied biogas was a natural step in this direction. No doubt LBG will be a clear option for us. It is proven by this operation that it can be available from our existing LNG supplier and not at least with the same quality as our current LNG fuel explained Lars Höglund, CEO of Furetank.

As both LNG and LBG consist mainly of methane (CH4) gas the existing LNG supply infrastructure can be used without any modifications. This means that the same trucks, ships, tanks and marine filling stations for both products can be utilised.

Liquefied biogas (LBG) is similar to liquefied natural gas (LNG). LBG is a renewable and environmentally friendly fuel made from 100 percent local feedstocks. Firstly, biogas is produced through the processing of various types of organic waste. Secondly, the biogas is purified and upgraded to approximately 97 percent methane content.

This process takes place in Skangas’s parent company Gasum’s biogas facility in Lidköping. The biomethane is liquefied by cooling it to a temperature of minus 160°C for transportation by trucks to customers.

According to Skangas, LNG is the cleanest available marine fuel, one that is rapidly becoming more commonly used as a cost-effective alternative. LNG is suitable for all vessel types, including ferries, passenger ships, tankers, bulk, supply and containerships. Switching to LNG completely removes SOx and particulates and reduces NOx emissions by up to 85 percent.

In addition, the company says that LNG reduces CO2 emissions by at least 20 percent compared to conventional marine bunker fuels and Skangas anticipates that the demand of LNG as a marine fuel will increase with current and forthcoming International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and European Union (EU) regulations.

This is the first time we are supplying LBG to a marine customer. However, it will not be the last. To be increasingly greener with the renewable biogas is possible because we use the same infrastructure that we’ve built throughout northern Europe. This means that LNG and LBG will continue to walk hand in hand as the availability of LBG on the market is on the rise, said Tommy Mattila, sales and marketing director in Skangas.

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