In May 2018, when ship-to-ship transshipment services began, a start of a new phase in the LNG terminal's diversification was marked. No less than 9 direct LNG ship-to-ship transshipment operations took place. Once the fifth storage tank will be commissioned in 2019, it will be a buffer for transshipments between two vessels that are not docked at the same time.
Moreover, a second loading bay for LNG trailers at the Zeebrugge terminal started operations in December 2018. The additional bay ensures the facility's continued ability to respond smoothly to future demand by doubling capacity from 4,000 to 8,000 loading operations per year. The loading bay receives financial support from the European Commission through the Connecting Europe Facility.
What is more, in 2018, the number of CNG vehicles in Belgium rose by 60% to 14,000 and the number of CNG filling stations increased to over 100. Stringent emission standards for sulphur in the English Channel, North Sea and Baltic Sea also showcased the importance of LNG as a marine fuel.
Furthermore, the order book for new LNG-powered vessels is increasing, with even more orders expected to follow by 2020, the year in which sulphur emission standards for all marine traffic will be significantly tightened.
Finally, in 2018, Belgium experienced the first unit for the production of biomethane go into service. Namely, Fluxys Belgium cooperated with Belgian gas federation gas.be and the distribution system operators to create a system of green gas certificates. Thus, consumers in Belgium can buy green gas just as they can buy green electricity.