LNG River Vessel Launched with EU Support
On Thursday, the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), which supports the European Commission’s infrastructure projects, announced the inauguration of the Eiger- Nordwand, the first inland waterway vessel to be retrofitted to run on LNG. The pilot vessel is part of the EU-supported “LNG Masterplan Rhine-Main-Danube” project, which is a series of studies and trials to assess the use of LNG as a shipping fuel in the European inland waterway sector. “I am confident that this project will continue to deliver benefits to inland waterways by analyzing and testing all aspects related to LNG deployment,” said INEA Executive Director Dirk Beckers. “LNG is rapidly emerging as a more environmentally friendly fuel for the shipping sector and its uptake is strongly encouraged by the European Union.” The “LNG Masterplan” project, one of the biggest innovation projects financed through the TEN-T program, will benefit from over €40 million ($54.4 million) of EU support and is implemented by a consortium of 33 companies and organizations from the public and private sectors across 12 EU Member States. The “LNG Masterplan” consists of a series of studies and pilot deployments for LNG as fuel for inland vessels, as well as cargo transported on waterways and distributed via inland ports along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers. The objective is to provide a platform for stakeholders to promote LNG in the inland waterway sector and build the necessary regulatory framework for the safe transport and use of LNG. As part of the project, a series of inland waterway vessels will be retrofitted with LNG engines, which will decrease nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate emissions, the main pollutants from inland waterway transport. For more information, goto: http://goo.gl/h7YytB or email INEA@ec.europa.eu.