Commenting on the efforts that Germany is making to adapt to the upcoming energy transformation, Ralf Nagel, Chief Executive Officer of the German Shipowners’ Association said that the country needs LNG infrastructure. For this reason:
We welcome projects that quickly become reality, such as the terminal in Brunsbüttel
Mr. Nagel believes that LNG is currently the only marketable fuel available with which the maritime industry could achieve IMO's climate goals and improve air quality. As he explained, in the long term that LNG will also enable the large-scale use of alternative “green” gases on board ships.
As for the LNG terminal in Brunsbüttel, Rolf Brouwer, Managing Director of German LNG Terminal GmbH, said that it is "an ambitious and forward-looking infrastructure project" because natural gas and LNG play an important role in the energy transformation.
He added that the planned terminal in Brunsbüttel will be a practical support for introducing more sustainable alternative fuels, especially for shipping traffic. The technology also enables the handling of synthetically-produced and therefore environmentally-friendly LNG.
The plan for the terminal is to work with two special jetties. One jetty will handle Q-Max tankers ranging between 120 m and approx. 345 m in length and with a capacity of approx. 265,000m³ LNG. The other jetty will handle smaller LNG tankers, like bunker vessels, ranging from 70 m to 170 m.
The Brunsbüttel terminal will have a maximum unloading rate of 14,000 m³/h. This means that large ships can be unloaded in about 20 hours. Safety checks, paper work, tug assistance etc. must also be taken into account. Smaller LNG tankers will have correspondingly shorter layovers.
In order for a terminal to be considered LNG-ready, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) has issued guidelines. The guidelines describe procedures and operational actions, as well as ways to ensure a safe ship-to-ship bunkering of LNG ships.
The guidelines note that a terminal can be characterized as LNG ready if it checks the following:
- Has incorporated procedures into its safety management system to ensure the proper level of preparedness for the handling of LNG-fuelled vessels;
- Can deliver terminal-specific and location-specific safety measures to be incorporated into the JPO, such as (but not limited to) weather conditions and limitations, potential restrictions with regard to simultaneous operations, and means of communication;
- Can review and agree upon a JPO;
- Can review, contribute to and agree upon SIMOPS and risk mitigation;
- Can adjust the operational process to deal with safety measures necessary for the safe handling of the LNG-fuelled vessel, with and/or without simultaneous operations;
- Can adjust the operational process to deal with the safety measures necessary for safe, JPOcompliant LNG bunkering;
- Has prepared the terminal incident response organisation to deal with an LNG-related incident;
- Has instructed terminal personnel on the procedures and safety measures;
- Has trained relevant personnel;
- Has established proper interaction and communication with all the relevant terminal personnel;
- Has established proper interaction and communication with all the relevant vessels.