07-08-2012: Marquard & Bahls through its subsidiary Bomin, a leading provider of marine fuels, and technology company The Linde Group announced that they will establish a joint venture company in order to build an infrastructure for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the maritime sector in Europe. The transaction is subject to the approval of the relevant antitrust authorities. The 50/50 joint venture company is due to start its operations in the latter part of 2012 with its headquarters in Hamburg.
The new joint venture will set out to establish an LNG supply chain and to provide reliable, safe and environmentally friendly fuel to ship owners and operators. The new company will establish operations in a number of key ports throughout the so-called "Emission Control Areas" (ECAs) in North-West Europe. Vessel emissions in ECAs will have to be reduced further on January 1st 2015, forcing ship owners to limit their sulphur emissions drastically. In particular compared to conventional heavy fuel oil, LNG offers close to 100 per cent reduction of emissions in sulphur and particulate matter, an 80-85 per cent reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 20-25 per cent less CO2 emissions. The use of LNG as a solution for meeting the increasingly strict regulations requires a network of LNG storage facilities to be set up for the bunkering of vessels in main European harbours.
Global demand for LNG is expected to increase by more than 10 per cent per year, making it the fastest growing energy product in the world. In 2015, some 70 vessels are expected to run on LNG in the Nordic region. According to a study by the Danish Maritime Authority the consumption potential of LNG is estimated to reach approximately 4 million tonnes by 2020.