Seaports’ Role in Ensuring the Availability of Alternative Marine Fuels—A Multi-Faceted Analysis
- The GHG emissions expressed in CO2 increased by 9.6% from 977 million tonnes in 2012 to 1076 million tonnes in 2018;
- CO2 emissions alone in 2012 accounted for 962 million tonnes, while in 2018, total CO2 emissions increased by 9.3% to 1056 million tonnes (with 708 mt from international shipping). In 2021, international shipping was responsible for 667 mt of CO2 emissions ;
- International shipping contributes to global anthropogenic emissions; this contribution increased from 2.76% in 2012 to 2.89% in 2018, and experts say it could reach 17 percent or more by 2050, as global trade is expanding and other industries are reducing their fossil fuel consumption .
- “a reduction of the average carbon intensity of international shipping by at least 40% by 2030, pursuing efforts towards 70% by 2050, as compared to 2008 levels; and,
- a reduction of total annual GHG emissions from shipping by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008, while pursuing efforts towards phasing them out entirely within this century”.
- To provide an overview of some of the emerging alternative fuel technologies that are being used or tested for further use in maritime transport, as well as their availability;
- To analyse the bunkering and storage infrastructure available at seaports worldwide;
- To assess the level of advancement of Polish ports in relation to the bunkering of alternative fuels by ships and to explore the ports’ plans in this regard.
2. Literature Review
3. Alternative Fuels for International Shipping
3.1. Characteristics of Selected Alternative Fuels
3.2. Lifecycle of Marine Fuels
- Increasing the availability of marine alternative fuels in ports to provide bunkering options for shipowners;
- Introducing market-based measures to reduce the price differential between the marine alternative fuels and conventional fuels;
- Establishing a mechanism to fund both research and development (R&D), incentivize the “first movers”, and ensure a fair and equitable fuel transition.
4. Development of Alternative Fuel Infrastructure in Ports
4.1. Ports on the Path to Decarbonising Shipping
- Incentive schemes for ships (e.g., differentiation of port dues) ;
- More automated and effective cargo-handling operations; e.g., ;
- Improved coordination and synchronization between ships and ports , such as just-in-time arrival for ships;
- On-shore power supply for ships;
- Reduced turnaround times at berth ;
- Implementation of incentive programmes that facilitate fuel savings within the port area ;
- Investment in green handling technologies and handling equipment, such as cranes, straddles, and truck trailers ;
- Development of intermodal connections to and from the hinterland .
4.2. Existing and Planned Alternative Fuel Bunkering Infrastructure
4.2.1. Research Methodology
4.2.2. Research Findings
- Ship-to-ship (STS);
- Truck-to-ship (TTS);
- Port-to-ship (PTS).
4.2.3. LNG Bunkering Infrastructure
4.2.4. LPG Bunkering Infrastructure
4.2.5. Methanol Bunkering Infrastructure
4.2.6. Hydrogen Bunkering Infrastructure
4.2.7. Ammonia Bunkering Infrastructure
5. Level of Advancement of Polish Ports in Bunkering Alternative Fuels for Ships
5.1. Research Methodology
5.2. Results and Discussion
5.2.1. Current State and Plans (Code One)
5.2.2. Bunkering Methods (Code Two)
5.2.3. Demand Analysis (Code Three)
5.2.4. Funds (Code Four)
5.2.5. Uncertainty (Code Five)
- Uncertainty about what fuel will become the fuel of the future in shipping;
- Uncertainty about the availability of fuel if competition for it with other sectors of the economy begins;
- Uncertainty about the international and national regulations and the timing of the implementation of the requirements contained therein;
- Uncertainty about the economic and political situation in the country, which could make it difficult to raise funds for the construction of the necessary bunkering infrastructure;
- Uncertainty about the safety associated with the use of alternative fuels (in particular, hydrogen and ammonia).
5.2.6. Safety (Code Six)
5.2.7. Cooperation (Code Seven)
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
- Has the port carried out an analysis of shipowners’ demand for alternative fuels, taking into account the specific type of fuel such as e.g., methanol, hydrogen, ammonia, LNG, LPG or other?
- Which shipowners have expressed interest in the availability of alternative fuels at the port? (If shipowners cannot be named, please indicate the scope of their activities: ferry and ro-ro shipping, short sea container shipping, ocean shipping, tramp shipping).
- What type of fuel would potential shipowners be interested in and what would guide their choice?
- Have there been discussions or consultations with shipowners and representatives of other ports concerning the so-called Green Corridors or route activities?
- Are discussions taking place with possible suppliers of alternative fuels? Will the chosen fuel be produced in Poland or will it be imported from abroad?
- Are potential suppliers of these fuels at all interested in cooperating with the port?
- What solutions for the supply and storage of a particular type of alternative fuel are being considered by the port?
- What was the rationale behind the choice of a particular fuel bunkering method (ship-to-ship, track loading, bunker vessel loading, local storage, tank-to-ship, other)?
- How does the Port plan to manage the risks associated with alternative fuel bunkering (safety issues related to transport, possible storage, and the bunkering process itself)?
- When are the technical facilities for the bunkering of alternative fuels planned to be realised?
- What are the sources of funding for bunkering infrastructure (in the context of alternative fuels) and related R&D: Port Authority’s own funds, funds of an external investor (infrastructure operator, PPP, EU funds)?
- Which institutions and onshore companies are involved in the development of infrastructure for alternative fuels (State Treasury companies, private companies)?
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|Fuel||Challenges and Opportunities in Bunkering Alternative Fuels||Reference|
|LNG||The authors indicated the main challenges related to bunkering LNG:|
“investment costs and the lack of LNG infrastructure”
“the investment costs, the required infrastructure and safety issues are major limitations”
“if no effective infrastructure planning is implemented carefully”
“the lack of LNG infrastructure in ports”
“Investing in LNG infrastructure in the near term”
“must be a global network of bunkering facilities for the fuel”
The authors point to the opportunities associated with bunkering LNG:
“the application of LNG leads to lower operating costs”
“will increase the number of ports providing LNG bunkering services”
“The fuelling infrastructure has widely developed beyond just a handful of key bunkering ports in recent times”
“upscaling of bunkering infrastructure for LNG is growing”
“the LNG bunkering infrastructure for ships is improving quite rapidly”
|Methanol||The authors indicated the main challenges related to bunkering methanol: |
“further development of the bunkering infrastructure and distribution chains of methanol are required”
“it is thought that several more terminals will be needed”
“there may be a need for additional terminals for ship fuel”
|The authors point to the opportunities associated with bunkering methanol: |
“the infrastructure for methanol available today is based on the worldwide distribution of methanol”
“best alternative fuel, use of existing infrastructure”
“potential investments in methanol bunkering infrastructure are reasonably low, and retrofitting of currently functioning infrastructure is a possibility”
|Hydrogen||The authors indicated the main challenges related to bunkering hydrogen:|
“found a lack of reliable infrastructure”
“infrastructure and bunkering facilities for hydrogen are not yet in place”
“ammonia and hydrogen require the most new or modified infrastructure”
“widespread utilization of clean fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia can be obstructed or delayed due to issues related to the underdeveloped infrastructure”
“there is no distribution or bunkering infrastructure for ships”
“hydrogen does not have a standardized design and fuelling procedure for ships and its bunkering infrastructure”
“new infrastructure would costs over several billion dollars in the coming decade”
“ammonia and hydrogen require the most new or modified infrastructure”
|Ammonia||The authors indicated the main challenges related to ammonia:|
“found a lack of reliable infrastructure for the use of methanol, hydrogen
ammonia and hydrogen require the most new or modified infrastructure”
“Widespread utilization of clean fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia can be obstructed or delayed due to issues related to the underdeveloped infrastructure”
“the existing bunkering and fuel infrastructure is not sufficient”
“the development of bunkering infrastructure remains a barrier for the application of ammonia as a marine fuel”
“ammonia and hydrogen require the most new or modified infrastructure”
|The authors point to the opportunities associated with ammonia: |
“a well-established global ammonia storage and distribution infrastructure”
“ammonia has existing global logistics infrastructure for transport and handling”
|The cleanest fossil fuel available today||40% lower volumetric energy density than diesel; increases injection time when used in internal combustion engines|
|No SOx emissions, particle emissions are very low||Twice the volume compared to the same energy stored in the form of HFO; requires more fuel tanks|
|The NOx emissions are lower than those of MGO or HFO||The storage temperature is −160 °C; requires an additional cryogenic plant|
|High energy density: approximately 18% higher than that of HFO||Risk of fire and explosion|
|The technology required to use LNG as a ship fuel is readily available||Methane release (slip); requires the installation of an additional ventilation system|
|Available worldwide and investments are underway in many places to make LNG available to ships||Reduction in CO2 is limited; limits the decrease in the Energy Efficiency Design Index|
|Bunkering infrastructure for ships is improving quite rapidly||Treated as a short-term solution, especially when targeting zero-emission shipping|
|More expensive than LNG but cheaper than traditional marine fuel (HFO)||Fuel tanks are larger than oil tanks due to the lower density of LPG|
Lack of bunkering infrastructure
|Relatively easy to develop bunkering infrastructure at existing LPG storage locations or terminals by adding distribution installations||Reduction in CO2 is limited|
|Fuel supply system is technically simple, so the construction costs are relatively low compared to those of LNG||Formation of flammable atmosphere|
Risk of autoignition
|Methane release (slip); requires the installation of an additional ventilation system|
|No emission of CO2, particulate matter (PM) or SOx||Low volumetric energy density, large fuel volume|
|High energy content per unit of mass||No distribution or bunkering infrastructure for ships|
|Suitable for relatively short distances||High flammability|
|NOx emission during combustion|
|No emission of CO2||Low volumetric energy density, large fuel volume|
|Already produced in substantial amounts||Release of high levels of NOx during combustion of ammonia|
|Handling issues in maritime transport are already well-understood||N2O emission|
|Highly toxic and requires careful handling|
|Strongly corrosive in its liquid state|
|Liquid at ambient temperature||40% lower volumetric energy density than diesel oil|
|Easy to store and handle||Methanol fuel tanks have sizes approximately 2.5 times larger than oil tanks for the same energy content|
|Lower emissions of NO2 and CO2 than the corresponding emissions with oil-based fuels||Low-flashpoint fuel that represents fire risk|
|Minor modifications to existing storage and bunkering facilities needed||Toxic when inhaled|
|Already available in some port bunkering infrastructures|
|Type of Fuel||No. of Ships||Fuel Availability||Bunkering Method Currently Used||Port Infrastructure|
|Active||In Order||Sea Terminals||STS||PTS||TTS||Existing||Planned||Existing||Planned|
|Port of Gdańsk||Port of Szczecin-Świnoujście||Port of Gdynia|
|Surface area (land)||1092 ha||679 ha||973 ha|
|Total length of quays||23.7 km||11.1 km||11.2 km|
|Total turnover||68.2 M tonnes||36.8 M tonnes||28.2 M tonnes|
|Container turnover||2.07 million TEU||75,381 TEU||986,000 TEU|
|Max. draught||17 m (outer port), 10.2 m (inner port)||13.5 m||13 m|
|Port of Gdańsk||Port of Szczecin-Świnoujście||Port of Gdynia|
|LNG||Planned in 2027: regasification LNG terminal (FSRU); capacity up to 6.1 billion m3 per year||LNG import terminal; two cryogenic LNG storage tanks with a capacity of 160,000 m³ each||-|
|LPG||LPG terminal (import and export) on the territory of the northern port in Gdańsk; 16 diked tanks with a total storage capacity of 13,200 tonnes||-||LPG terminal; 12 storage tanks with a total capacity of approx. 1500 tonnes|
|Methanol||Possible||Not yet discussed||Not yet discussed|
|Ammonia||Not yet discussed||Not yet discussed||Not yet discussed|
|Hydrogen||Not yet discussed||Not yet discussed||Under consideration|
|Port of Gdańsk||Port of Szczecin-Świnoujście||Port of Gdynia|
|Ship-to-ship||Under consideration||Under consideration||Under consideration|
|Truck-to-ship||In operation||In operation||In operation|
|Port-to-ship||Not yet discussed||Under consideration (ferry terminal)||Under consideration (ferry terminal)|
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Klopott, M.; Popek, M.; Urbanyi-Popiołek, I. Seaports’ Role in Ensuring the Availability of Alternative Marine Fuels—A Multi-Faceted Analysis. Energies 2023, 16, 3055. https://doi.org/10.3390/en16073055
Klopott M, Popek M, Urbanyi-Popiołek I. Seaports’ Role in Ensuring the Availability of Alternative Marine Fuels—A Multi-Faceted Analysis. Energies. 2023; 16(7):3055. https://doi.org/10.3390/en16073055Chicago/Turabian Style
Klopott, Magdalena, Marzenna Popek, and Ilona Urbanyi-Popiołek. 2023. "Seaports’ Role in Ensuring the Availability of Alternative Marine Fuels—A Multi-Faceted Analysis" Energies 16, no. 7: 3055. https://doi.org/10.3390/en16073055