The cruise industry is growing and this something that the conference host, the Port of Amsterdam wants to take full advantage of, but it recognises that it needs to forge a good relationship with the city in order to do it.
One option it is looking at is providing adequate LNG bunkering, which it perceives is a good way to meet growth targets as the cruise industry adopts the fuel more readily. The city also views LNG as a good solution to meet emissions targets.
A stakeholders’ view
And port stakeholders are also confident that LNG is a good solution for growth and for the port-city relationship.
“One of the troubles with LNG is that infrastructure is not yet sufficient for cruising outside of Europe,” said Michael Schaap, commercial director marine, Titan LNG.
“But the technology we are working on is the stepping stone for LNG bunkering in a port, providing a low cost solution to enable refuelling.”
He is referring to Titan LNG’s Flexfueler technology, which aims to bring bunkering technology to the masses.
This “missing link” in the LNG transport chain is a non-propelled pontoon which can be moved to wherever bunkering is required.
It’s the type of technology which if adopted more widely could help realise the use of LNG across the shipping industry and clean up emissions in ports and cities.
The port’s view
Giving the cruise lines what they need in terms of infrastructure is something that the Port of Barcelona and the Port of Piraeus are also throwing their weight behind.
“LNG is the only way to meet existing and upcoming requirements for SOx, NOx, PM and CO2,” said Stavros Hatzakos, general manager of the Port of Piraeus.
The port is working hard with the authorities to achieve the balancing act that is achieving growth and cleaning up emissions.
His port is participating in the POSEIDON MED-II project which aims to engage National Authorities towards the development of the regulatory framework for LNG bunkering in Greece.
Jordi Vila, head of environmental affairs, Port of Barcelona, said that the port-city relationship can be tricky but the key is to keep the dialogue open with all stakeholders.
“The best we can do as ports is to be active in incentivisng greener vessels, promote the use of LNG and shore power for smaller vessels,” he said.
Mr Schaap added that although it is part of the solution to clean up shipping emissions, LNG is not a “silver bullet”.
Other solutions should be looked at for older or smaller vessels including the use of bio-fuels.
Emissions reducing technology such as scrubbers are not a long-term solution.
Questions from the floor included ongoing safety converns with LNG, the use of bio-fuels and the lack of knowledge sharing in the industry.
One of the final words fell to the chairman of the conference, Tiziana Murgia, head of communications, Assoporti.
“There is still a gap in knowledge sharing in the industry, but ports have the role of facilitators in port-city relationships,” she said.
“By this facilitating we can influence the choice of LNG as one of the fuels of the future.”
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