Although not accessible by large oceangoing vessels, the Rhine Port of Cologne will become the first European port with shore to ship LNG bunkering facilities.
Last week Netherlands-based PitPoint.LNG – a joint venture between PitPoint clean fuels and Primagaz Nederland – received the official permit for the construction of Europe’s first shore-to-ship bunkering station for LNG in the Port of Cologne. With this important milestone now in place, the civil engineering work can start for the LNG bunkering station, which is scheduled to be operational by the second quarter of 2019.
Since the plan for the new bunkering station was announced in June last year, PitPoint.LNG has been working hard to complete the thorough and substantial permit application process. The permit, required under the Bundes-Immissionsschutzgesetz (German Emission Control Act) to guarantee the safety of LNG as a fuel for shipping, was formally granted by the District Government of Cologne earlier this week. The permit means that construction can now go ahead. The new LNG bunkering station will be built in the Port of Cologne, located at Am Molenkopf 1, and will facilitate the bunkering of inland waterways vessels that sail on the Rhine, Europe’s busiest waterway.
Construction of the LNG bunkering station in Cologne is part of PitPoint.LNG’s strategic aim to develop a European LNG infrastructure for transport by road and water. It will be the first shore-to-ship LNG refuelling location in Europe, as well as the first to serve Europe’s busiest river, the Rhine. When the project was first announced it was said that the LNG bunkering station will also bunker LNG for the inland dual-fuel barges that Shell Western LNG has chartered.