Minister Schultz gives starting signal for first LNG-powered inland navigation tanker

Today, in the presence of Dick Benschop, President Director of Shell Nederland, Minister Schultz van Haegen (Infrastructure & the Environment) gave the starting signal for the first inland navigation tanker powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG): the Greenstream.

The Greenstream is the first of two inland navigation tankers that Shell is chartering for the transport of products on the Rhine. The ship has many innovations in the fields of safety and energy efficiency. For example, rather than a single large engine like traditional inland navigation vessels, the ship has four, small, efficient engines. This offers better fuel economy and means that output can be varied to meet different power demands. Moreover, the engines have a lower RPM than traditional inland navigation vessels. This lessens vibrations and the noise level which is a benefit when sailing through densely populated areas along the Rhine.

Minister Schultz: “The maritime sector is an important driver of our economy. With this ship, the Netherlands once again proves that it is the maritime centre of Europe. We are showing that innovation, growth and being green can go hand in hand. The government and the market joined forces in this project. On behalf of ‘The Hague’ I am therefore proud that we were part of this fine initiative from the outset.”

Dick Benschop: “The transport sector is facing daunting challenges. The sector must use energy more efficiently and reduce its emissions of substances that harm the environment such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and CO2. The use of LNG has the potential to offer both economic and environmental benefits for lorries, trains and ships.”

According to Mr Benschop: “In the short to mid-term, Shell sees opportunities for growth for LNG mainly in heavy transport by road, and in coastal and inland navigation. The use of LNG as a fuel will aid the inland navigation sector to meet the stringent emissions standards. I therefore predict a healthy future for LNG, with the development in the long term of a new European industry for LNG as a fuel for ships.”

The launch of the Greenstream tanker took place at the Port of Rotterdam in the presence of representatives from the Dutch and European inland navigation sectors, local and regional authorities, suppliers, Interstream Barging (from whom Shell will charter the ship) and Peters Shipyards, the company that built the ship.