Europe will have a filling station for liquefied natural gas in every port

The market for liquefied natural gas (LNG) is about to undergo a dramatic expansion. Today, there are about 30 LNG terminals in Europe and more are planned. This will increase the fuel supply and facilitate bunkering. The demand for LNG is expected to double by 2020.

Liquefied natural gas is one of the alternative fuels in which the European Union has chosen to invest, in order to end our dependency on oil. To meet the growing demand, new options for refuelling are needed, so called bunkering, throughout Europe. The EU's goal is that there will be LNG satellite terminals in all 139 ports included in the EU's core network for transport before 2025.

Cooled to a liquid state

LNG (liquefied natural gas) is liquid methane. When the natural gas is cooled to about –160°C, it condenses into a liquid. The volume is decreased 600 times, enabling more energy to be stored in the tank. This makes LNG highly suitable for powering fuel-intensive ships. Access to LNG is also a prerequisite for building a market and infrastructure for renewable biogas.

LBG (liquefied biogas), like LNG, is liquid methane and can therefore complement and, in the long term, replace LNG.

Different bunkering methods

An LNG ship can be bunkered by:

  • ship
  • tanker truck
  • onshore facilities

In Sweden, there are currently two LNG terminals, in Nynäshamn and in Lysekil. More are planned, including in Gothenburg, Gävle and Helsingborg. In Poland, Lithuania and Finland, new LNG terminals are ready, and Estonia also have well-developed building plans.

The unique bunkering of the Baltic Sea’s first LNG powered cruise ship, Viking Grace, is performed using the gas supplier Aga’s bunkering vessel Seagas. The liquefied natural gas comes from the LNG terminal in Nynäshamn, which in turn imports gas from Norway, as well as other sources, by tanker.