As the schedule for the application of the strict sulphur limits – enacted by IMO from 2015 – in the emission control areas (ECA) is fast approaching, ports not only find it their responsibility to quickly adapt to the upcoming emission regulations, but they also intend to rapidly respond to port users’ environmental needs for obtaining competitive advantage.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is one of the attractive fuels for ships that can help ports to achieve these goals.
PortEconomics co-director Theo Notteboom along with Siyang Wang, ITMMA-University of Antwerp, studied on the current development status of LNG bunkering facilities in North-European ports.
All ports considered are located within the two European ECAs (The Baltic Sea and the North Sea). Eight ports are included in the study. These ports cover large world-class gateway ports such as Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg and Bremen, and also four medium-sized to smaller ports like Zeebrugee, Gothenburg, Stockholm and Helsingborg (in Sweden). The eight ports all share the traditional ‘Hanseatic’ culture featuring municipal governance and their port authorities are either public or hybrid public/private. In addition, all eight ports operate according to the ‘landlord’ model while they intend to go beyond the traditional approach by adding more facilitating and coordinating roles.
Although the selected ports all aim for an LNG-fuelled future, the development plans vary in line with different market expectations and operational conditions.
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