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21. 04. 2017

The Fuel of the Future: Liquified Natural Gas Helps in Reducing the Greenhouse Effect

The 15 largest ships of the world emit just as much pollutants as 750 million cars combined. This is a figure which is shocking and will definitely be mentioned again at this year's Earth Day on April 22nd, 2017. The reason for the high emission of pollutants, such as sulfur oxide, is the use of heavy oil. This viscous material is a residue from petroleum refining and which is often used in long-haul freight traffic. For a long time, marine diesel was the only alternative to heavy oil, as it produces only a fraction of the harmful oxides of nitrogen. Regarded as the environmental-friendly fuel of the future, Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is attracting all the attention.

The pioneers in LNG plant construction

"LNG offers numerous advantages over conventional fuels," explains Marius Baake, Business Development Manager at Cryotec Anlagenbau GmbH. "LNG is sulfur- free and emits 50 percent less carbon dioxide than conventional marine diesel. Moreover, the fields of application are not limited. Apart from ships, trucks and buses can also be operated with LNG, which can travel at least 1000 kilometers with a single tank filling. Truck engines powered by natural gas are also very quietly - which means that this fuel also offers advantages in terms of noise emissions."

Cryotec Anlagenbau GmbH, a subsidiary of the EPC Group, is one of the pioneers in small scale LNG plant construction. The company, which is based in Wurzen, has so far been the only German company to supply small-scale LNG systems for the production of liquified natural gas for Gazprom in Russia. In addition, CRYOTEC is currently involved in various LNG petrol station projects in Germany and Central Europe.

Conversion from heavy oil to LNG is useful and possible

The conversion of the ships which are still running with heavy oil is possible and, of course, with some costs involved. Nevertheless, a conversion will soon be obligatory for all shipping companies. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), a United Nations agency, has already introduced new standards. According to the new standards, from 2020 the limit of sulfur in the fuel is to be reduced from 3.5 to 0.5 per cent. On the coasts of North America and Europe a limit of 0.1 per cent is already being applied. Therefore, it is worthwhile to convert directly from heavy oil to LNG in the coming years and to replace conventional marine diesel as an alternative.

"LNG is free of sulfur, making it the best alternative in terms of environmental and climate protection in long-distance traffic," explains Marius Baake. "Shipping takes up a very large share of pollutant emissions worldwide. Therefore, shipping companies can make a valuable contribution in improving air pollution and climate change by converting to LNG. "

Further picture material is available for download:
Copyright: Cryotec Anlagenbau GmbH

About the EPC Group
The EPC Group is an internationally active engineering and plant construction company as well as a provider of innovative technologies. The company's activities are focused on the planning and realization of infrastructure projects and industrial plants in the chemical, polymers and fibers, renewable energies, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, cryogenic plants and technical gases industries. With a tradition going back more than 140 years, the EPC Group today has over 300 highly motivated employees spread out at eight German locations as well as representative offices in Russia.

It is the combination of experience, research and development that lead to successful innovations in engineering and industrial plant construction. From process development to planning, implementation, maintenance, and modernization, the EPC Group is setting up plants worldwide that are both state-of-the-art and socially responsible. In doing so, the company is constantly developing innovative ideas and creative solutions to overcome the various challenges of its customers, in keeping in line with its motto "Ideas Inside".