Ports of Stockholm commits to LNG

Ports of Stockholm signed a partnership agreement in mid June, together with seven other ports around the Baltic Sea, to offer LNG/Liquid Natural Gas.

The ports – Stockholm, Aarhus, Helsinki, Turku, Riga, Malmö/Copenhagen, Tallinn and Helsingborg – are involved in the EU-funded project LNG in Baltic Sea Ports, which was initiated to examine the preconditions for establishing a functioning infrastructure to offer bunkering facilities for vessels running on LNG.

The more stringent sulphur content restrictions for vessel fuels imposed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) form the basis for the project. In light of the new regulations, vessels must find alternatives to today's heavy oils, which have a high sulphur content. Options are purification systems or alternative fuels. LNG is one such alternative, but is dependent on the possibilities for liquid natural gas bunkering, and that is where the ports play an important role.

"Ports of Stockholm is a port in the vanguard when it comes to being able to offer LNG bunkering. The new Viking Line ferry M/S Viking Grace, which runs on LNG, will be operating in the archipelago already in January 2013," says Port and Traffic Manager Henrik Cars, who is also responsible for the LNG project on behalf of Ports of Stockholm.

"But the underlying concepts of the project are to determine how we can offer LNG bunkering over the longer term and on a larger scale," Henrik Cars explains.

The project will run until 2014.