Feeder ship conducts its first test drive with synthetic natural gas

Feeder ship Wes Amelie, renamed ElbBlue in 2021, is carrying out the first SNG test run (Unifeeder)

Published 09/29/2021 2:34 PM by

The maritime executive

A shortsea feeder ship is operating the world’s first test voyage with liquefied synthetic natural gas (SNG) in the maritime world. The 10.53 gross ton Elbe blue in the German port of Brunsbüttel near Hamburg for a trip to St. Petersburg, Russia, which will be refueled with CO2-neutral fuel, and a second refueling is planned when it returns to Germany before continuing to Rotterdam.

The sea trial is the latest in a series of evolutionary efforts involving the feeder ship. The ship built in 2010, then known as Wes Amelie, was retrofitted as a dual-fuel ship, its engine was modified by MAN Energy Solutions. It was the first conversion of a ship of this size and type to run on LNG. On April 21, 2019 the Wes Amelie received the first ship-to-ship LNG bunker operation for a container feeder ship in the Baltic Sea.

At the end of 2019, Unifeeder, which operates the 1,036 TEU ship, announced plans to test the SNG. In the meantime, the ship was sold to the Elbdeich shipping company in early 2021, which it renamed Elbe blue. The new owner joined the effort to start the test project.

With a mixture of 20 tons of SNG and 20 tons of conventional LNG, the Elbe blue is expected to save around 56 tons of CO2 emissions on its upcoming trip to St. Petersburg instead of working with pure LNG. For the 20-hour voyage to Russia and back, the ship was refueled with 20 tons of the new SNG.

“The launch of Unifeeder’s SNG test in collaboration with our project partners is an exciting and timely development for our business as our industry continues to look for ways to reduce carbon emissions to meet customer, business and environmental requirements to meet ”, said Jesper Kristensen, CEO of Unifeeder. “A successful test trip will complement our environmental initiatives across Europe, such as our investments in more efficient rail and inland waterway services, as well as our ongoing sustainability ambitions at our terminals across Europe.”

The SNG is a demonstration product that Kiwi developed in its power-to-gas facility near Cloppenburg, Germany. The company uses wind power to produce green hydrogen. It then goes through a methanation process. Kiwi also added a new liquefaction plant in 2021. The CO2 used is obtained from a nearby biomethane plant. The fuel was delivered to the ship by tanker, as no LNG bunker station has yet been built in the Elbe estuary.

“This is a decisive step on the way to decarbonising shipping,” said Stefan Eefting, Senior Vice President and Head of MAN PrimeServ, Augsburg, about the Elbe blue Attempt. “Synthetic fuels and engine retrofits play a critical role in reducing or even eliminating future emissions caused by the global supply chain. While retrofitting a ship immediately reduces emissions, synthetic fuels such as SNG can enable 100 percent climate-neutral operation. Today we are showing that every ship retrofitted with LNG can also be operated with fuels from Power-to-X technology and, depending on availability, even as a fuel mix. “

In an interview with the Handelsblatt, MAN said that it was only a demonstration project because SNG was not yet commercially viable due to the costs and limited deliveries. They told the newspaper that the fuel currently costs three to six times that of conventional LNG due to production in a small test facility. They predicted that economies of scale would make the product competitive as demand grew and large-scale production of SNG began.

Source link

About Christine Geisler

Check Also

New Chinese data law set to worsen shipping congestion

A change in Chinese law affects companies’ ability to manage increasingly convoluted global supply chains. …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *