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Marine trial of carbon-neutral liquefied SNG launched

Marine trial of carbon-neutral liquefied SNG launched
The ElbBlue vessel

Unifeeder, MAN Energy Solutions, Elbdeich Reederei, Liquind Marine, Wessels Marine and Kiwi have launched the world-first marine trial of carbon-neutral liquefied SNG in an effort to reduce carbon emissions.

Liquefied SNG, produced at Kiwi’s Power-to-Gas facility in Werlte, Germany, was used to fuel the Unifeeder-operated ship ‘ElbBlue’.

The fuel is a synthetic form of LNG that is carbon-neutral and generated from 100% renewable energy.

With the European Commission releasing a proposal this year requiring the shipping industry to reduce emissions to net-zero by 2050, the development and testing of new energy sources such as liquefied SNG is an important step in carbon reduction for the industry.

Stefan Eefting, senior vice president and head of MAN PrimeServ, Augsburg, said: “This is a crucial step on the road to decarbonising shipping. In reducing or even eliminating future emissions generated by the global supply-chain, synthetic fuels and engine retrofits have a crucial role to play.

“While a retrofit instantly reduces a ship’s emission-levels, synthetic fuels like SNG can enable it to run 100% climate-neutrally. Today, we are demonstrating that any LNG-retrofitted ship can also run on fuels generated by power-to-X technology, and even as a mix of fuels depending on availability.”

Jesper Kristensen, CEO Unifeeder and COO DP World Marine Services, said: “The launch of Unifeeder’s SNG trial in conjunction with our project partners is a thrilling and timely development for our business as our industry continues to seek ways to reduce carbon output to meet customer, business and environmental policy demands.

“A successful trial voyage will complement our environmental initiatives across Europe, such as our investment in more efficient rail and barge inland services, as well as our ongoing sustainability ambitions at our terminals across Europe.”

The trial comes as Unifeeder, owned by DP World, has launched its Actual Emission Tracker, a tool that allows for users to calculate greenhouse gas emissions at the specific teu level.

The tracker gives companies further insight into the carbon impact of their activity, assisting with the measurement tools required to track and reduce carbon emissions.

With a blend of 20 tonnes SNG and 20 tonnes conventional LNG, the ElbBlue is expected to save approximately 56 tonnes of carbon output on its coming voyage to St Petersburg, as opposed to operating on 100% LNG.

In 2017, the same vessel was retrofitted as dual-fuel engine made by MAN Energy Solutions to be able to operate on LNG, aiming to reduce SOx emissions by more than 99%, NOx by approximately 90%, and CO2 by up to 20% basis conventional LNG.

Timm Niebergall, shortsea director, Unifeeder, said: “The future availability of green(er) fuels is essential. Our customers in Europe and beyond are expecting innovative solutions for improving our, and thereby also their, carbon footprint.

“In short, synthetic LNG is an exciting product and we are therefore very proud to be the first operator testing this new fuel on one of our vessels.”