Platform promotes international networking: German, Norwegian and Dutch LNG experts attend LNG Matchmaking Conference “Making LNG happen – Combining forces for sustainable shipping"
More than 80 representatives of industrial and shipping companies, port authorities, initiatives and associations came together on 26th and 27th January at the Port Authority of Rotterdam to attend the LNG Matchmaking Conference 2017. The objectives of the conference entitled “Making LNG happen – Combining forces for sustainable shipping” were the provision of information and exchange about current developments, existing best practice and future projects.
Like in the previous two years, the German Maritime LNG Platform, jointly with the Dutch LNG Platform, the Netherlands Business Support Office (NBSO), Energy Valley (Groningen), Innovation Norway, the Norwegian Embassy in the Netherlands as well as the Maritime Cluster Northern Germany, had invited to two conference days that were packed with stimulating presentations and discussions, interesting excursions as well as various networking opportunities. This year’s special event partner was the Port of Rotterdam: its far-reaching LNG activities were presented in a welcome speech by Yvonne van der Laan (Vice President Industry and Bulk Cargo, Port of Rotterdam) and demonstrated by tours of the GATE-Terminal and Maasvlaakte 2.
Following Yvonne van der Laan’s welcome speech both the Norwegian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Martin Sørby, and the German Ambassador to the Netherlands, Dirk Brengelmann, highlighted the current and future importance of LNG as an alternative fuel and energy source to the maritime sector and port economies. Then, Jan Tellkamp, DNV GL, presented an overview of regulatory developments and current and future ship numbers as well as business development capabilities. Afterwards, Tessa Rodewaldt (German Maritime LNG Platform), Lasse Karlsen (Norwegian Maritime Authority) and Gerrit van Tongeren (Dutch LNG Platform) discussed the current situation, possibilities of co-operation and necessary next steps. They all could quickly agree that a quick and comprehensive harmonisation of bunkering and security standards must be achieved to create the necessary conditions for investment so as to make best use of business development opportunities. Equally, they all called for a closer co-operation of their three countries at European level.
Another special event partner this year was AIDA Cruises: Dr Monika Griefahn, Chief Sustainability Officer of AIDA Cruises, introduced AIDA’s commitment to LNG fuelled cruise ships before attendees had the opportunity to visit the AIDAprima that had anchored at Rotterdam’s cruise terminal close to Rotterdam Port Authority. The AIDAprima is the first cruise ship worldwide that bunkers LNG at all ports of its route, i.e. Hamburg, Le Havre, Southampton, Zeebruegge, and Rotterdam.
The afternoon of the first conference day was dedicated to LNG pilot projects and German, Norwegian and Dutch best practice examples exemplifying the entire supply chain as well as specific initiatives from all three countries.
On the second conference day, attendees visited the Maasvlaakte 2 and GATE (Gate Access to Europe)-Terminal. A boat tour through the port of Rotterdam rounded the conference off.
Tessa Rodewaldt, Managing Director of the German Maritime LNG Platform, was delighted with the outcome of the LNG Matchmaking Conference:
“As in previous years, we’ve managed again to bring together key LNG stakeholders from Germany, Norway and the Netherlands for discussion, exchange and new business development. For two days, we’ve discussed about the maritime use of LNG, learnt from each other, received some food for thought and illustrated where we’re going – and what challenges we’re still facing. What a successful start to the year for the Platform!“