Construction work has started on Gate terminal’s new LNG break bulk facility at the Port of Rotterdam with an opening ceremony.
The Port of Rotterdam has started with the excavation of a new harbour basin next to Gate terminal. The new facility will boost the use of LNG as a transportation fuel in the Netherlands and north-west Europe.
The terminal will be expanded with a harbour basin for small scale LNG with a maximum capacity of 280 berthing slots per year.
The break bulk services will split up large-scale LNG shipments into smaller parcels to allow for the distribution and use of LNG as a cleaner fuel alternative for maritime vessels, ferries, trucks and industrial applications.
To mark the start of the development, chief executives from organisations across the LNG and logistics supply chain discussed their thoughts on the future of LNG at a ceremony on March 31.
A new harbour basin and quay wall will be built by the Port of Rotterdam Authority as part of the new facility, which will be located next to Gate terminal. It is expected that the basin and wall will be complete by the end of 2015.
Gate will then construct the LNG installations, including berthing and loading facilities dedicated to bunkerships and smaller tankers, allowing LNG bunker operations in the Port of Rotterdam.
The facility will be modelled on a multi-user service model and will be open to all interested parties.
Construction completion, commissioning and first loading operations are planned towards the end of H1 2016.
Gate terminal managing director Dick Meurs says: ‘Gasunie, Vopak and Gate have jointly developed an innovative LNG break bulk concept upgrading the LNG hub capabilities of Gate terminal and enabling our customers to supply LNG as cleaner fuel for transport, shipping and industrial applications.’
Shell, as the launching customer for the project, has committed to buy capacity from Gate terminal by ordering a specialised LNG bunker vessel.
It is expected that LNG fuel will increase substantially following the introduction of new emission regulations (SECA) for the marine sector in the North Sea and Baltic Sea from 2015.
The Port of Rotterdam Authority has already introduced new regulations allowing LNG bunkering for inland barges and ship-to-ship bunkering of seagoing vessels.
In 2016, a full scope of supply services for LNG will be available in the Port of Rotterdam.
Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, says: ‘We want to strengthen our position as the most important European LNG hub.’