New Success for Europe in Cleaner Inland Navigation
The increasing use of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) as a fuel was given another boost with today’s commissioning of a new type of inland navigation vessel: Sirocco. Owned by Chemgas Barging, this conventional gas tanker is equipped with a main engine capable of running on marine gas oil as well as on the clean LNG.
What makes this dual-fuel system unique is that it is positioned below decks in the cargo area, which improves vessel safety. This deployment is part of the ‘LNG Masterplan Rhine-Main-Danube’ project which is being realised with the support of the European Commission’s TEN-T Programme under the coordination of Pro Danube Management GmbH and the Port of Rotterdam Authority.
With almost fifty years of experience and expertise in the transport of liquefied petro-chemical gasses, Chemgas played a leading role in designing and developing “Sirocco”. Chemgas will deploy “Sirocco” for the transportation of conventional gasses for customers throughout the Rhine basin. The vessel was officially christened today in Grevenmacher, Luxembourg, by Mrs. Claudette Majerus, the wife of François Bausch, Minister of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure in Luxembourg.
Among those attending the christening were the board members of Chemgas Barging and delegations from the European Commission (represented by the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency - INEA).
The conventional gas tanker “Sirocco” is equipped with a main engine capable of running on LNG as well as on marine gas oil.
Considering the fact that currently the supply chain of LNG in Europe is still limited, the use of this dual-fuel concept ensures full operational availability of the vessel. In addition, the tanker has two gas generators which use the clean LNG as an energy source.
“Sirocco” is the first newly built inland navigation tanker in which the LNG fuel tank is located below decks inside the cargo area. This construction itself further increases the safety of LNG as a fuel. The dual-fuel engine concept enables “Sirocco” to optimise LNG consumption to 99%. With LNG as a fuel, NOx particles and CO2 emissions are substantially reduced. As part of the LNG Masterplan project, the emission values of the engine will be actively monitored for a certain period of time in order to verify that emission reductions are indeed achieved.
LNG Masterplan for Rhine-Main-Danube
The gas tanker “Sirocco” was developed as a part of the EU-supported LNG Masterplan Rhine-Main-Danube project. The LNG Masterplan aims to promote LNG as a fuel and cargo for the inland navigation industry. It also formulates and enforces the necessary (safety) regulations for the use and transport of LNG. The LNG Masterplan is supported by a 40 million Euro European Commission grant through the TEN-T Programme and is implemented by a consortium of 33 companies and organisations from the public and private sectors from twelve European member states. The project is supervised and coordinated by Pro Danube Management GmbH and the Port of Rotterdam Authority.