Gothenburg offers LNG-powered ship discounts

Gothenburg offers LNG-powered ship discounts
Gothenburg’s LNG discounts will continue for four years (Photo: Port of Gothenburg)

Ships powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) can expect a substantial reduction in the port tariff when they call at the Port of Gothenburg after January 2015 and the introduction of the European Union’s (EU) rules that will require all ships operating in the North Sea, Baltic Sea and English Channel to use fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.1%.

The discount will continue for four years, until 2018, with the aim is to induce more shipping companies to switch to cleaner fuel.

The port recognises there are considerable environmental benefits to be gained from using LNG, as sulphur and particle emissions are reduced to almost zero, nitrogen emissions by 85-90% and carbon dioxide emissions by 25%.

Magnus Kårestedt, chief executive, said: “It has been our firm belief for a long time that LNG is the fuel of the future. This initiative is entirely in line with our ambition to reduce the environmental impact of shipping and create a sustainable Scandinavian freight hub”.

Supporting the port’s move, Carl Carlsson of the Swedish Shipowners’ Association, added: “It’s not technology that is the limiting factor, it’s the financial considerations. Working within the framework of the ‘Zero Vision Tool’ project, we will attempt to convince other ports in the Baltic to offer the same type of support.”

From January 2015, ships that maintain a high level of environmental performance will be recompensed by the port. Two indexes will be applied as a basis for discounting – Environmental Ship Index, which is used by many ports around the world, and Clean Shipping Index, which is an environmental index where the freight-owners’ make demands on the shipping industry.

At the same time, ships that switch from oil to LNG will receive a further discount.

Preparations are currently being made for the construction of a terminal at the Port of Gothenburg that will supply both shipping and industry with liquefied natural gas. The terminal is part of a collaborative venture between Rotterdam and Gothenburg to build an infrastructure for LNG, an initiative that is also supported by the EU.

See today’s other CM story on the  2015 EU sulphur rules