Second jetty commissioned at Zeebrugge LNG terminal:

clearing the road for LNG as clean marine fuel

10 January 2017 – The second jetty at the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Zeebrugge was commissioned in late December following operational tests carried out over recent months. Yesterday, the Coral Energy became the first LNG carrier to berth at the jetty for a commercial loading.

The second jetty at the LNG terminal has been designed for receiving the smallest LNG carriers with a capacity of 2,000 m3 up to large LNG vessels with a capacity of 217,000 m3. Some 200 loadings have already been booked at the second jetty for small LNG carriers under long-term contracts. The 15,000 m3 Coral Energy supplies mainly small terminals in other regional markets.

New step in development of market for LNG as clean marine fuel

With the second jetty able to accommodate the smallest LNG ships, LNG bunkering vessels can now also berth at the terminal. These are vessels that load LNG in order to supply other ships using LNG as a fuel. Until now, this could only be done using LNG trailers which come to load at the terminal but are not ideal for supplying seagoing vessels due to their limited capacity.

LNG is becoming increasingly important as a marine fuel because LNG has a much cleaner combustion than heavy fuel oil and stringent sulphur emission regulations are in force in the English Channel, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. As well as emitting almost zero sulphur, LNG has negligible fine-particle emissions, emits a quarter less carbon and performs up to 90% better on nitrogen oxides.

With this in mind, shipping company UECC recently began operating its first LNG-powered car carrier in Zeebrugge, with a second to follow soon. The UECC ships will be refuelled with LNG by a purpose-built LNG bunkering vessel which will have Zeebrugge as its home port and in which parent company Fluxys is a partner along with ENGIE, Mitsubishi Corporation and NYK Line. There are currently around 40 ships under construction for use in the English Channel, the North Sea or the Baltic Sea, half of which will run on LNG.

More flexible berthing

The second jetty also enables the terminal to respond flexibly to demand for simultaneous or quickly successing berthings, as using both jetties allows two LNG carriers to be unloaded and/or loaded at the same time.

Partnership with Zeebrugge Port Authority and European Commission

The Zeebrugge Port Authority was responsible for the underwater structure of the second jetty while Fluxys Belgium built the superstructure and LNG facilities. The preliminary studies for the second jetty were co-financed by the European Commission within the framework of the Trans-European Energy Networks (TEN-E) programme, while a grant was awarded for the construction works through the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) programme. The initiative to build the second jetty also proactively responded to the spirit of the European Directive on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure for transport, which was launched in late 2014.