After the successful completion of a feasibility study conducted by the Hamburg Port Authority and The Linde Group, the Bomin Linde LNG GmbH & Co. KG joint venture is to construct its first LNG terminal in the Western Europe port.

The terminal intended to provide ships with the cleaner fuel in the Port of Hamburg and represents the first major project of the joint venture company since its establishment earlier this year.

Bomin Linde LNG GmbH & Co. KG has been concentrating on the implementation of initial projects to build storage and refuelling infrastructure for LNG in several European ports. The first specific step taken by the joint venture of Linde Group and Bomin, a subsidiary of the Marquard & Bahls AG, is the construction of the terminal for fuelling ships with LNG in the Port of Hamburg.

Potential ways of implementation are presently being evaluated in order to comply with the legal approval criteria necessary to set up a so-called small-scale LNG terminal on the Marquard & Bahls subsidiary Oiltanking premises in the Hamburg port.

LNG is widely expected to develop into one of the most important fuels for the shipping industry. Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) has already recognised this opportunity and with the construction of the new terminal, the port will have the opportunity to gain a pioneering role in the introduction of LNG as an alternative ship fuel in Europe.

“The Port of Hamburg has set itself the task of bringing economy and environmental protection in line. In this context, the use of LNG represents an important step forward,” stated Jens Meier, Managing Director of HPA.

The HPA is not only a supporter for creating the necessary conditions, but also wants to become one of the first LNG users, with plans to be operating a vessel running on LNG technology by 2014.

Bomin Linde LNG sees an essential step for the quick establishment of LNG infrastructure in many European ports, describing the ‘chicken and egg’ situation that exists.

“We have to solve the chicken-and-egg problem when it comes to introducing a new fuel for shipping in Europe. With Bomin Linde LNG as a reliable partner actually providing LNG as a fuel in strategically important ports, the construction of ships that are fuelled with LNG will experience a considerable boost. LNG is by far the most environmentally friendly and economically sound option for complying with the new sulfur and nitrogen emission limits,” said Mahinde Abeynaike, the Bomin Linde LNG GmbH & Co. KG Managing Director responsible for infrastructure development and finance.

Managing Director Ruben Benders, responsible for Sales and LNG procurement, added, “The interest in LNG on the market is very big. In addition to the technical advantages offered by LNG, the expected increasing price difference between expensive oil and the more favorable price level of gas is an important aspect. The ecological sense of responsibility felt with in the shipping industry and by its customers is also playing an increasingly important role.”

According to a study by the Danish Maritime Authority, it is estimated that the potential demand for the maritime sector in the North Sea, Baltic Sea and the English Channel will be approximately four million tons of LNG in the year 2020.