LNG: Liquified Natural Gas

For a sustainable naval mobility

The use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel for marine and naval use is one of the most interesting challenges that scientific research is facing in order to drastically reduce air emissions in densely populated areas such as ports and its neighboring cities .

LNG is a low environmental impact fuel that can significantly reduce emissions of sulfur and nitrogen oxides, as required by the European regulation (Directive 2012/33/EU). By following company declarations such as Mec Intelligence or Det Norske Veritas (DNV), LNG will become the dominant fuel source for all merchant ships in 40 years, and by 2020 approximately 10,000 ships could use LNG powered propulsion systems .

In this panorama the city of Ravenna can play a key role as a leader in the natural gas extraction and offshore world poles just like the examples of Houston (Texas), Aberdeen ( Scotland) and Stavanger (Norway).

LNG on board and quay

From Cold Ironing to Green Ironing

To reduce emissions in the air and in the meantime save considerable fuel, one of the solutions is the Cold Ironing, that means switching off the engines of the ships while in port in front of an electric support point provided on the dock.

The experience of the ports of Gothenburg, Los Angeles and Juneau that are employing this type of solutions are, however, not entirely satisfactory. In fact, in order to realize the electrified quay system required for the adoption of Cold Ironing, a series of expensive structural interventions need to be carried out in terms of energy management and electric installation, additionally the vessels for exiting from or returning to port have to use other fuel such as heavy oil or diesel fuel.

The Clean Port project started from the difficulties of applying the Cold Ironing system to the port of Ravenna, that has also the uniqueness of having many private areas; which will not only use electricity produced on the quay, but from the naval engines powered by LNG.

Advanced techniques of production, compression, liquefaction and LNG storage in special ground stations as well as liquefied (in low temperature) storage on board ships will be developed. This accumulation of LNG can therefore also be used for shifts in port, exit from and entry to the port, as provided for in the new European Directive 2012/33/EU.