Netherlands’ Veka-Group develops new LNG tankers

Veka-Group has developed three new LNG tankers, which can also be used as bunker ships. Two tankers are destined for short sea trips and/or coastal services. The third tanker, a LNG inland waterway bunker ship, is the first of its type in the world. The tanker sails almost completely on the ‘boil off’ of the load and is 100% emission-free. After the introduction of the first bi-fuel tanker in the world, the “Pioneer Knutsen”, this is again a proof of Veka-Group’s innovative power.
With the “Pioneer Knutsen”, Bijlsma Shipyard, member of the Veka-Group, was years ahead of her time. ‘It was the first bi-fuel LNG tanker ever built’, says managing director Arend Bijlsma. ‘Especially for this project we have developed new technology for the storage of LNG and for the use of LNG as fuel for the propulsion engines. The combination of these two techniques made it possible to sail the tanker for a significant part on the ‘boil off’ (the gas that is released by keeping the load on the correct temperature). The engine switches to diesel in case of insufficient ‘boil off’ availability, which explains the term bi-fuel.’ Thanks to these innovations applied when building the “Pioneer Knutsen”, the design received the ‘Clean Marine Award ’ from the European Commission. Continue reading

German Company designs LNG dual-fuel LNG transport vessels

Hamburg’s TECHNOLOG, as a partner of the German engineering alliance IPP, develops the first LNG-Dual-Fuel powered offshore transport vessel for JIANGSU HANTONG SHIP HEAVY INDUSTRY.

This means that the ship can be operated both with conventional fuels as well as with very environmentally friendly LNG (liquid natural gas). The corresponding contract has now been signed. Project-related co-operation agreements were made with engine manufacturer MAN Diesel & Turbo as well as with the classification society Germanischer Lloyd. The new ship design will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by around 33 per cent compared to conventional powered new constructions.

“With our support, the HANTONG Group will be able to offer a technologically first-class vessel to the world market that also meets the most stringent international regulations on environmental protection”, explains Hans-Jürgen Voigt, Managing Director of TECHNOLOG. Continue reading

CNG and LNG vehicles see increased demand in U.S. and Canada

A recently completed analysis of the U.S. and Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Market found that while there are cost and infrastructure challenges to the broader use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) vehicles, demand for natural gas vehicles has increased.

Using 2009 numbers, it was found that the amount of natural gas demanded for transportation use is 3.2 billion cubic feet, the equivalent of 27.7 million gallons of gasoline.

The analysis, conducted by TIAX, LLC, is a thorough and independent assessment of the key technical, economic, regulatory, social, and political factors and challenges that shape the market for natural gas vehicles. This week, the first portions of TIAX’s analysis addressing CNG and LNG Infrastructure were released and can be found on ANGA’s website.

The report sections on CNG and LNG infrastructure are the most comprehensive and technical assessments about the current state of CNG and LNG transportation. In these sections, TIAX confronts the “chicken and the egg” conversations about natural gas vehicles; namely, do we need more natural gas vehicles to spur infrastructure development or do we need more infrastructure to be developed so that more natural gas vehicles can be put to use?

Read more here.

Should the U.S. export Nat Gas?

Ezra Klein at The Washington Post had a post on his Wonkblog this week that asked whether we should be exporting our natural gas reserves as LNG to the rest of the world. Here are some of the pros and cons:

As the Council of Foreign Relations’ Michael Levi has argued, boosting natural-gas exports could have both ups and downs. On the beneficial side, the United States could strategically use its gas to help Europe wean itself off its dependence on Russian exports. What’s more, other countries might find better opportunities to displace oil with natural gas than the United States can, which, in turn, could put much-needed downward pressure on world oil prices.

On the minus side, Levi notes, making U.S. natural gas more expensive could also make it harder for the United States to tackle climate change at home — after all, cheap natural gas is expected to displace some 9 percent of U.S. coal demand by 2035. That, in turn, would make it even less likely that the United States plays a crucial leading role in averting drastic climate change.

What do you think?

T. Boone Pickens preaches his energy “gospel”

T. Boone Pickens is preaching the benefits of natural gas. Here’s a little bit of what he says:

“Natural gas will do everything we want it to do,” he says. “It’s 130-octane fuel, it’s 25 percent cleaner than oil — and we have an abundance of it. It doesn’t require refining; it comes out of ground at 130 octane; run it through a separator and it’s ready to use. It will be very simple for us to make this transition.”

While natural gas-powered vehicles are nothing new — people have been converting vehicles for decades — Pickens says booming supplies of U.S. natural gas and falling prices make it ideal for the backbone of the nation’s transportation fleet: trucks.

“Wind, nuclear, and solar are fine, but if we’re going to do anything about our dependency on foreign oil, we have to address transportation.”

There are 18 million 18-wheelers in the U.S., he says. If converted to natural gas, the industry’s carbon emissions would drop by 30 percent, fuel costs would drop, and imports of OPEC oil would be slashed by 60 percent. Continue reading

Shell: China’s shale gas less economical than U.S. gas but more than LNG

Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said Shell had not yet determined the cost of producing shale gas in China but that it would probably be within the $2 to $6 per million British thermal units (Btu) seen in North America, a level that would be competitive with alternative gas sources.

“We completed 11 wells last year; we hope to effectively double that this year … We are seeing a mixed range of outcomes, everything from pretty poor reaction to excellent,” he told reporters on a call on Thursday.

The development of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, as a technique for extracting natural gas from shale rock has led to a surge in gas production in the United States that has driven down energy costs and reinvigorated U.S. industry.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has said China has even larger shale resources than the United States, but many companies have questioned whether the resources can be developed economically.

Henry, who also has executive responsibility for overseeing Shell’s China operations, said it was more difficult to extract gas from Chinese reservoirs, on average, than what Shell had seen in the United States.

But he expects production costs to come down, making Chinese shale economic at the $5 to $6 per million Btu level that Shell receives for its current, conventional gas production in China, and well below liquefied natural gas (LNG) import prices of around $16 per million Btu. Continue reading

LNG Infrastructure Developing Fast

150 LNG Truck Fueling Stations Enabling Goods Movement
Coast-to-Coast and Border-to-Border Anticipated by End of 2013

The route plan for the first phase of 150 new LNG fueling stations for America’s Natural Gas Highway (ANGH) was unveiled on January 12, by Clean Energy Fuels Corp., provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in North America.  The company has identified 98 locations and anticipates having 70 stations open by the end of 2012 in 33 states.

Many of the fueling stations will be co-located at Pilot-Flying J Travel Centers already serving goods movement trucking through an exclusive agreement with Pilot to build, own and operate natural gas fueling facilities at agreed-upon travel centers. Pilot-Flying J is the nation’s largest truck-stop operator with more than 550 retail properties in 47 states.

Major highway segments planned for early opening include, among others, those linking San Diego-Los Angeles-Riverside-Las Vegas; the Texas Triangle (Houston-San Antonio-Dallas/Ft. Worth); Los Angeles-Dallas; Houston-Chicago; Chicago-Atlanta; and a network of stations along major highways in the mid-west region (Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Montana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Kansas, Oklahoma, Alabama) to serve the heavy trucking traffic in the area.

Scheduled for completion during 2012 and 2013, the 150 first-phase stations coincide with the expected arrival of new natural gas truck engines well suited for heavy-duty, over-the-road trucking. Engine manufacturers and original equipment truck manufacturers such as Cummins-Westport, Kenworth, Peterbilt, Navistar, Freightliner and Caterpillar are expected to have Class-8 trucks available in engine sizes allowing for varied road and driving requirements. Continue reading

Kenworth Hosts NatGas Summit In Wisconsin

Courtesy of LNG World News

Natural gas continues to be a focus of truck operators as more than 200 Wisconsin Kenworth customers recently gathered to learn more about new available equipment and the future of natural gas in the industry.

The Wisconsin Kenworth NatGas Summit, held recently at the Glacier Canyon Conference Center, featured four sessions that covered topics such as the state and federally-funded Clean Cities programs to help fleets adopt new technology using alternative and renewable fuels. The sessions covered compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) engine technology and fueling infrastructure. The sessions also gave customers opportunities to inspect two CNG-powered Kenworth T440s.

I found the Kenworth summit to be very informative, providing a lot of good, quality information that will help us in our decision how and when to adopt natural gas-powered trucks into our fleet,” said Jeff Villers, a fleet maintenance manager with CTS Inc.

The summit was a response to our customers’ requests to learn more about natural gas, the natural-gas powered trucks Kenworth offers and about the experiences of customers who have already started using the trucks,” said Jim Moeller, president of CSM Companies, parent company of Wisconsin Kenworth. CSM Companies operates five Wisconsin Kenworth dealership locations in Green Bay, Menomonie, Milwaukee, Mosinee, and Windsor, and Michigan Kenworth locations in Gaylord and Grand Rapids. Continue reading

Kenworth Truck Show Features CNG & LNG Trucks

USA-based Kenworth Truck Company hosted a truck show in Indianapolis featuring compressed natural gas (CNG) powered and hybrid Kenworths at the start of December. The company’s dedication to provision of green fleet choices includes compressed and liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks. More than 350 truck and fleet operators learned about new available equipment and the future of natural gas fuel in the trucking industry. Also presented were free training sessions on vehicle maintenance and grant writing.

“Truck operators and their technicians got a lot of great information about spec’ing choices, maintenance and grant assistance to help make the new technology more affordable,” said Jacob Nichols, general manager of Kenworth of Indianapolis. “A seven-person panel discussion provided information and opinions on the growth and future of natural gas in heavy duty trucks and the transportation industry. Participants learned how the rising cost of diesel and the increasing availability of domestic gas reserves is helping to build momentum for the adoption of natural gas-powered vehicles.” Continue reading