Natural Gas Use is on the rise for European Inland Waterway Shipping

By Peter Pospiech at September 19, 2013 04:28
Filed Under: Company News, drive systems, Fuels & Lubes, LNG fuel, Shipyards

On third of September the second inland navigation tanker, which is also powered by natural gas, has been christened by the President of the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine, Ms Belliard, in Rotterdam. The launch of the GreenRhine tanker took place at the Port of Rotterdam in the presence of representatives from the Dutch and European inland navigation sectors, local and regional authorities, suppliers, Interstream Barging (from whom Shell has chartered the ship) and Peters Shipyards, the company that built the ship.

The sister ship GREENSTREAM is absolutely equivalent to the newbuild GREEN RHINE

The GreenRhine is the second of two gas-electrically inland navigation tankers that Shell is chartering for the transport of mineral products on the Rhine. The GreenRhine is absolutely equal to the first natural gas powered vessel Greenstream. They feature many innovations in the fields of safety and energy efficiency. For example, rather than a single large engine like traditional inland navigation vessels, the ship has four, small, efficient Scania/Sandfirden gas engines. This offers better fuel economy and means that output can be varied to meet different power demands. Moreover, the engines have a lower RPM than traditional inland navigation vessels. This lessens vibrations and the noise level which is a benefit when sailing through densely populated areas along the Rhine. In case of technical problems the vessel can simply continue on three engines. In addition, the modular arrangement of the gas engines provides to do maintenance ashore. The Peters LNG Packs® can easily be removed from the vessel which means that the ship does not have to remain idle for a long time as a result of maintenance or breakdown. Exchangeability means that the ship can remain in operation almost continuously. 

GREEN RHINE during naming ceremony in Rotterdam 

PetersShipyards LNG-Packs (left) containing the natural gas driven engines with its generators, the re-gasification station (middle), followed by the LNG-bunker-tanks

According to ms Belliard: “In the short to mid-term, we see opportunities for growth for natural gas mainly in heavy transport by road and in coastal and inland shipping. The use of natural gas as a fuel will aid the inland navigation sector to meet the stringent emissions standards. I therefore predict a healthy future for natural gas, with the development in the less use of energy with LNG Packs®”. The GreenRhine is thus one of the eight vessels propelled by natural gas that are already authorised by the CCNR to travel on the Rhine. Within the CCNR, work is continuing on drawing up a permanent, harmonised legal framework with a view to ensuring the safety of these vessels, their crews and the public, particularly by promoting technical innovations”. 

The gas-train to feed the engines

Images: PPM News Service Maritim

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