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PitPoint clean fuels opens Europe's first permanent LNG bunker station

In Germany, PitPoint clean fuels has opened Europe’s first shore-to-ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker station for inland shipping at the Niehler Hafen in Cologne. The opening of this station represents a concrete step towards facilitating clean maritime transport. The new LNG bunker station is part of PitPoint.LNG’s plans to develop a European LNG infrastructure for heavy-duty transport by road and water and is co-financed by the European Union (EU).

In Germany, PitPoint clean fuels has opened Europe’s first shore-to-ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker station for inland shipping at the Niehler Hafen in Cologne. (photo courtesy PitPoint).

On October 31, 2019, PitPoint clean fuels opened Europe’s first shore-to-ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker station for inland shipping at the Niehler Hafen in Cologne, Germany (photo courtesy PitPoint).

According to PitPoint, a Netherlands-headed provider of clean fuels that also designs, builds, finances, maintains, operates and service public and private refueling stations for liquefied natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas (CNG), biomethane, hydrogen, and electric charging points for fleet operators, the strategic location of the bunker station between Basel and Rotterdam and good access to the location were the main reasons for choosing the Port of Cologne.

Lower emissions and improved air quality

LNG is the cleanest fossil fuel currently available for (heavy-duty) maritime transport. The biggest benefit of using LNG lies in the reduced emission of fine particulate matter (PM) and NOx. Based on current European emission standards (CCNR II), LNG-fuelled engines produce 20 percent less carbon dioxide (CO₂), at least 80 percent less NOx and over 99 percent less fine PM than diesel-powered engines.

The significant reduction in these harmful substances will have a direct positive impact on air quality. LNG is also seen as a transition fuel and as a step towards even cleaner and CO2-neutral bioLNG.

Faster transit for LNG-fuelled vessels

With the new shore-to-ship bunker station in place along Europe’s busiest waterway, another positive step has been taken in developing the LNG infrastructure required for facilitating the uptake of LNG as fuel for maritime transport. The new shore-to-ship bunkering station significantly expedites the bunkering process.

Where LNG-fuelled vessels were required to submit a request and schedule an appointment to purchase LNG from a truck-to-ship bunkering station, shore-to-ship bunkering can now be done faster and easier via the station’s powerful pumps.

Moreover, the shore-to-ship bunker station is open 24/7, with professional service engineers available to provide bunkering services. In the near future, the station will be able to fuel two vessels at the same time.

We are very proud to welcome Europe’s first permanent LNG bunker station at our port in Cologne. This is another building block in our approach to focus on sustainable and environmentally friendly transport. LNG is known to be a reliable and clean alternative fuel, which helps reduce pollutant emissions in particular. That is why we see the use of LNG as an important step towards a sustainable future for logistics, commented Jan Sönke Eckel and Wolfgang Birlin, Managing Directors of port operator RheinCargo.

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