Joint Venture for Marine Market to be Based in Hamburg
Echoing Shell’s recent deal to buy Gasnor (F&F, July 11), Linde and Hamburg-based Bomin, a marine fuels specialist, are forming a 50-50 joint venture company “to build an infrastructure for liquefied natural gas in the maritime sector in Europe.”
Initial focus of the new entity, like Bomin to be based in Hamburg, will be the key ports in northwest Europe’s ECAs – Emission Control Areas – where LNG is expected to help ship operators “drastically” reduce their sulfur-related 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 harbors,” Linde says.
Joint Company ‘Underpins’ Linde LNG Strategy
“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 announcement states. “Linde will contribute its vast experience in cryogenics and its best in class engineering know-how while Bomin will support the joint venture with its excellent track record in maritime bunker fuel trading and operations.”
“We want to offer LNG to ship owners as an alternative energy source with a lower environmental impact than traditional bunker fuels,” Dr. Claus-Georg Nette says in the Linde release. He serves on the executive board of Bomin parent Marquard & Bahls.
“Bomin is committed to the bunker business on a global scale,” said Bomin CEO Peter Schreiber. “Combining our expertise in bunkering with Linde’s gases and engineering knowhow adds support to the emerging LNG-fuel market.
“As this partnership shows, Bomin is determined to remain innovative, offering multiple fueling solutions wherever we can,” Schreiber said.
‘Fastest Growing Energy Product in the World’
“A readily available and cost-effective LNG infrastructure is key to the development of LNG as a maritime fuel,” said Linde AG executive board member Professor Dr. Aldo Belloni.
“This new joint venture underpins our LNG strategy, already visible in our recent opening of the LNG terminal in Stockholm harbor and our study for the introduction of LNG with the Hamburg Port Authority.”
Global demand for LNG is expected to increase by more than 10% per year, Linde says, “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, Linde adds, the consumption potential of LNG is estimated to reach approximately 4 million tons by 2020.
Linde further notes that earlier this year, its AGA unit in Sweden won the LNG delivery contract for the natural gas-powered Viking Grace ferry – the first of its kind – from the Finland-based Viking Line.
The 702-foot Viking Grace has four Wärtsilä 50DF dual fuel engines, and is to be launched from the STX Turku shipyard in Finland – live on the internet on August 10. The LNG-diesel dual fuel ship is to serve on the Viking Line’s Turku-Stockholm route beginning in January.
Hamburg-based Bomin has more than 300 employees in 36 offices worldwide. Known until recently as Bominflot, the organization started in 1976 out in 1976 “as a German-Russian joint venture, supplying bunkers, lubricants and spare parts to the entire former Soviet fleet, under contracts with Soviet shipping companies.” Post-Soviet Union, it evolved into a worldwide trading organization and was acquired by the Mabanaft unit of Marquard & Bahls this past June.
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Source: Linde and Viking Line press release with Fleets & Fuels follow-up