Last Monday, June 14, State Secretary Mrs. Van Veldhoven paid a working visit to shipping company Doeksen in Harlingen, where two new ferries were recently put into service, which run on LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas). The Ministry is pleased that the shipping company has taken this step and with the fact that the transition to sailing on bio-LNG is now really on the agenda.
In 2020 and 2021, Rederij Doeksen has put two new LNG catamarans into service: the Willem Barentsz and its sister ship Willem de Vlamingh. These ferries carry 700 passengers and 61 cars per crossing using only LNG (liquefied gas). The ships will be used on the ferry connections to and from Harlingen, Vlieland and Terschelling.
Dirk Spoor, general manager of shipping comapny Doeksen: “There are various reasons why Doeksen has chosen LNG. By sailing on LNG, Doeksen actively chooses to make a significant contribution to preserving the vulnerable environment of the Unesco World Heritage Wadden Sea. The environmental benefits are clear, with significantly fewer harmful emissions: particulate matter (- 95%), SOx (-100%) and NOx (-90%). The emissions from the main engines meet the Euro Stage V standard. With these gas engines, post-treatment of the exhaust gases is no longer necessary.
Bio-LNG will be on the agenda in the near future. Due to the efficient hull shape, numerous energy-saving innovations and the use of LNG only, a 10 to 20% CO₂ reduction is already achieved. With the switch to bio-LNG, a reduction of 85% is possible. It would be great if this bio-LNG is made in the north of the Netherlands in the future.”
En this wish of shipping company Doeksen is now also being fullfilled. The company SFP has announced to start supplying bio-LNG in 2023. Bio-LNG is made from organic residual flows from agriculture, among other things, and therefore meets the highest sustainability requirements.
The company SFP already produces approximately 21 million m3 of green gas in Zeeland and construction of a new installation in Harlingen will start shortly . Yearly production will be 9 kilotons. To give an impression: 1/3 of this volume is sufficient to allow both ships of shipping company Doeksen to sail on 100% bio-LNG all year round. Also road transport has sown great interest. There are now 1,000 trucks running on LNG. The aim is to have 10,000 trucks running on bio-LNG by 2030.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management is positive about the choice of Doeksen and SFP to further shape the transition from LNG to bio-LNG. A lot has happened when the bio-LNG covenant with the transport sector was concluded. The use of green gas in the sector is in the starting blocks for the desired acceleration to achieve the objectives of the 2030 Climate Agreement. In this collaboration, the policy has now taken shape in such a way that the sector now dares to invest in this transition.
Stientje van Veldhoven, outgoing State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management and grantor of concessions, likes to visit the Wadden islands and states that putting into use the new ships is a nice development: “These catamarans are more environmentally friendly than the ships that run on diesel. In a vulnerable area such as the Wadden Sea, it is important that we look at how we can make transport more sustainable.”
The National LNG platform has helped shape this policy together with the ministry in recent years. “The transition that is now being initiated to bio-LNG is a crown on my work of recent years,” says chairman Robert Goevaers. “And this is just the beginning. An inventory at the end of 2020 showed that 21 companies in the Netherlands will actively focus on the production of bio-LNG in the coming years. This sector makes a major contribution to the climate agreement.”