The European ports of Rotterdam, Antwerp, Mannheim, Strasbourg and Zwitserland signed on accord on Friday to introduce LNG in the continent’s inland shipping sector.
The agreement will see the five ports work together on a number of initiatives to encourage the use of LNG-fuelled vessels within Europe’s inland network, including studies, promotion, knowledge transfer, regulations and bunker infrastructure.
In a statement, the Port of Rotterdam Authority said that the cooperation ties in with its own ambition of seeing the market for LNG develop to its full potential so that it can open an LNG hub in Rotterdam before the end of 2015. The port authority also reaffirmed its commitment to investing in infrastructure and projects to support LNG bunkering as well as its key role in the formation of the necessary national and international policy and legislation.
The agreements are set up in the framework of the LNG Masterplan for Rhine-Main-Danube, a project in which all five ports are partners. The goal of the LNG Masterplan is to introduce LNG as a fuel for inland shipping along the Rhine-Main-Danube corridor. Through its TEN-T programme, the European Union has granted €40 million in subsidies to aid the project.
Earlier this month, Lloyd’s Register released a report claiming that LNG could account for as much as 13 percent of the global bunker fuel market by 2020, increasing to 24 percent in 2025.