The FirstBio2Shipping project, set to be completed in 2023, will achieve a decentralised production of bio-LNG designated for usage in the maritime industry. The plant will produce around 2,400 ton/year of bio-LNG (or liquefied biomethane), located at the Attero facility in Wilp, the Netherlands.
This substantial funding is a clear recognition by the EU of the vital role that bio-LNG will play in decarbonising the maritime industry and expediting the energy transition. The collaboration of the front-runners in sustainable fuels shows their commitment to, and belief in, the strong pathway to maritime decarbonisation through bio-LNG. As one of the first projects to receive funding from the Fit for 55 package, the FirstBio2Shipping project has also been recognised as practical, because it will supply into existing LNG fuelling infrastructure.
Bio-LNG originates from organic waste flows, particularly domestic and agricultural waste that are available in abundance. Attero will produce 6 million Nm3 of biogas per year from domestic biowaste for the FirstBio2Shipping project. The biogas is upgraded and liquefied into bio-LNG by Nordsol’s innovative iLNG technology. This technology resolves various challenges in the production of small-scale LNG, including: producing high quality bio-LNG (not containing contaminants); zero methane ‘slip’ (not releasing unburned methane); and no high temperature demands in gas treatment technologies, resulting in a lower total cost of ownership.
In partnership, Attero and Nordsol will produce 2,400 tons/year high-purity bio-LNG and 5,000 tons/year liquid bio-CO2. Titan, the exclusive long-term off-taker, will supply the bio-LNG to the maritime industry where it will cost-effectively substitute fossil fuels. The produced bio-LNG will reduce GHG emissions by 92% compared to a conventional maritime fuel, representing more than 87500 tCO2e net absolute emissions avoided during the first ten years of operation.
Producing biogas by digestion of waste streams and converting it into bio-LNG fits into the sustainable circular model resulting in a fuel that is not just potentially net-zero in GHG emissions, but also has the potential to be net-negative in emissions by replacing the use of fossil CO2 by liquefied bio-CO2.
Ronald van Selm, CTO, Titan said: “This project is paramount in implementing our strategy of reaching carbon zero within the coming two decades. Furthermore, it builds upon Titan’s previous successful funding application called 'Bio2Bunker' that realizes three additional bio-LNG bunker barges. Mature transport, storage, and bunkering infrastructure are not the only benefits of bio-LNG, it is also increasingly recognised as a sustainable option that can be ‘dropped in’ and blended with LNG at any ratio, with no changes required onboard the vessels.”
Jan-Willem Steyvers, business developer, Attero: “Producing bio-LNG out of biogas is a next step in biowaste digestion, leading to higher end products. Bio-LNG from biowaste supports the circular economy and helps dealing with yet another global concern: replacing Heavy fuel oil applications. By producing bio-LNG locally, traceability and transparency is ensured. Our bio-LNG will meet ISCC certification criteria. The Firstbio2shipping project will create more opportunities for local biogas upgrading plants, produces high-quality, sustainably sourced bio-LNG, and helps decarbonising the maritime industry. It’s a no brainer.”
Léon van Bossum, commercial director, Nordsol added: “Reducing GHG emissions in maritime transport is of critical importance, and with bio-LNG we can start today. Through collaboration and progressive technology, we can significantly advance the decarbonisation. Scalability is a key challenge for any future marine fuel but using our iLNG technology we can demonstrate a standardized, scalable process to produce high-quality bio-LNG, capture CO2 and minimise energy use, in decentralized, unmanned production plants. We look forward to realizing this project with Titan and Attero.”
With the introduction of this first bio-LNG plant for shipping, LNG-fuelled vessels can take a significant step towards achieving decarbonisation goals and meeting European Union and International Maritime Organisation regulations. Shipping’s pathway to decarbonisation via LNG, bio-LNG, and in the longer-term green hydrogen-derived E-LNG is well underway and emissions will only reduce more as Titan, Attero and Nordsol scale-up bio-LNG production further.