LNG Bunkering Station to Open on Yangtze River in China
China Gas Holdings Ltd. plans to open the first LNG station for cargo ships on the Yangtze River next month. The bunkering station is a pilot project in Chongqing, which will serve the initial ships converting to LNG. China’s transport ministry has called for 2,000 vessels, or 2 percent of its inland fleet, to run on natural gas by 2015, and it wants the number to rise to 10,000 by 2020. However, LNG is more expensive than diesel in Asia, in contrast to other parts of the world, and the transition may be slow-going. “Current economic conditions within [China’s] inland waterway transport have been challenging,” said Mikael Simelius, vice president of marketing at Wärtsilä. “As a result, it might take some time for the industry to match the government’s targets.” Wärtsilä and Rolls-Royce PLC will provide the engine for Asia’s first gas-powered tugboat, which is set for delivery to China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) by the end of the year for use on the Yangtze.