Will gas become the fuel of the future for shipping? Probably not for the time being, but alongside diesel, natural gas is a great fuel which can be used in an environmentally friendly way on board vessels. Natural gas is much more plentiful than crude oil, so it is cheaper, and it has lower particulate emissions.
From 2020, new engines in inland vessels are obliged to meet extremely strict rules concerning exhaust fume emissions, and the exhaust systems of diesel engines will then definitely have to be equipped with filters and catalytic converters. These ‘end-of-pipe’ technologies take up a lot of space. Their purchase and maintenance are expensive, and include costs such as changing filters and adding scrubbing substances like urea to the exhaust gases.
Natural gas-fuelled engines in inland shipping will only require an extra particulate filter in accordance with the current state of technology (mid-2016), to capture the last solid particles of lubricant burned in the engine.
Over the past years, Kooiman Marine Group has invested in knowledge in the field of natural gas. We have developed an LNG-fuelled pusher boat. All permissions for the pusher boat have been acquired from the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR) in Strasbourg, the ADN safety committee in Geneva and classification society Lloyd’s Register. Kooiman Marine Group provided the pipelines for the Eiger Nordwand project.
We participated successfully in an international consortium subsidized by the European Commission, the LNG Masterplan, and secured participation in a European subsidy, the ‘Breakthrough LNG deployment in inland waterway transport’ project. These projects have given Kooiman Marine Group huge knowledge in gas systems on board vessels. We have collaborated with the inspection bodies on the drafting of the current new legislation. Kooiman Marine Group is well placed to examine, together with customers, possibilities for on board the vessels (pusher boats, inland vessels, work vessels, dredgers or seagoing vessels).
We have sustainable solutions for LNG systems (liquefied natural gas), for CNG systems (compressed natural gas) and for Dual Fuel implementations (combination engines running on gas and diesel). We have also designed and constructed hybrid systems, such as combinations with diesel engines, electric engines and batteries. Various designs of vessels with natural gas propulsion are available.