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Novel liquefied gas bunkering at the Port of Gothenburg

Gothenburg-based shipping company Terntank is the very first operator to bunker liquefied gas - liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied biogas (LBG) - at a new bunkering facility at the Port of Gothenburg, Sweden.
“Being able to offer this unique opportunity represents a major breakthrough, not only in facilitating the transition to LNG, but also in gradually increasing the proportion of renewable gas,” said Johan Zettergren, Chief Executive of Swedegas, which owns and runs the facility.

M/S Tern Sea is the very first vessel to bunker liquefied gas – liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied biogas (LBG) – at a new bunkering facility at the Port of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is making inroads as a marine fuel enabling shipping to break its reliance on “dirtier” oil-based fuels. Being a much cleaner fossil fuel, LNG is seen by its proponents as part of the marine transition towards more environmentally smart alternatives while opening the market for its renewable counterpart, liquefied biogas (LBG).

The new Port of Gothenburg liquefied gas bunkering facility is the only one of its kind in Sweden. Designed from the very outset to handle both LNG and LBG, which in terms of chemical composition are largely identical, makes the new facility flexible to meet the transition of the shipping sector.

LNG is the first step. The ambition to increase the volume of biogas has taken a new turn, as this technology and related infrastructure work equally well for both gases. We are delighted to be working with companies that are driving the industry forward and with a firm focus on promoting clean shipping, said Tryggve Möller, CEO of Terntank Ship Management.

Something of a pioneer, Terntank has invested in LNG powered vessels chartered by North European Oil Trade (NEOT), a fuel supply company associated with Finland-headed oil refiner and renewable fuel producer St1 Oy that also has refining operations in the port.

The Swedegas LNG/LBG bunkering facility at the Port of Gothenburg has two tanker truck receiving bays. Here liquefied biogas (LBG) being discharged from the tanker truck, a Volvo 460 methane-diesel, into the system.

The first was delivered in 2016 and today the company has four similar vessels. The LNG and LBG that was bunkered at the facility was supplied by the Norwegian gas and LNG distributor Barents NaturGass AS.

We are looking forward to being part of this unique concept where we can offer customers both LNG and LBG, said Gudrun Rollefsen, CEO at Barents NaturGass.

The LBG was produced by FordonsGas, part of the Air Liquide Group at its facility in Lidköping north of Gothenburg.

A green energy wave is gathering momentum in the marine sector, and we are looking forward to being part of this pioneering venture and continuing our close and fruitful collaboration, said Emil Glimåker, FordonsGas Chief Executive.

Time-effective bunkering

The facility is the first in Sweden that allows tankers to bunker from a fixed pipeline as they load and discharge, reducing the turnaround time considerably. In 2015, the Port Authority introduced an environmental discount on the port charge as part of a drive to increase the number of calls by vessels powered by LNG.

The discount has been a strong contributing factor behind many companies switching to LNG. In our endeavour to sustain this trend, we decided to extend the discount period by a further two years to 2020, said Jill Söderwall, Vice President Business Area Energy at the Port of Gothenburg.

Project of Common Interest

Sweden has already today one of the world’s most climate-smart merchant fleets and is set to lead the way in the expansion of green shipping. The European Union (EU) designated the LNG facility with Project of Common Interest (PCI) status, making it one of the most prioritised infrastructure projects in Europe. Via the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), it also provided the necessary support to bring the project to fruition.

Detail of the MannTek cryogenic coupling developed for LNG by Swedish company Mann Teknik AB.

As Transmission System Operator (TSO) and owner-operator of the liquefied gas bunkering facility, Swedegas expects LNG and LBG will play a major role in the transition. The company is working to reach a point where, by 2030, some 30 percent of the energy in the company’s systems will be renewable.

It is my firm belief that gas suppliers will come to realise the importance of the shipping sector as a gas user. Access to renewable gas will increase, opening up new and exciting opportunities. Every step we take towards more sustainable transport is vital, ended Johan Zettergren.

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