2015, the Port of Gothenburg introduced an environmental discount on the
port tariff in an effort to increase the number of calls by ships running
on liquefied natural gas (LNG). Several LNG investments have been made
since then, including initiatives by a number of Swedish shipping companies.
This has had a positive impact on the environment, including reduced emissions
of sulphur dioxide, particles and nitric oxide into the air in western
Sweden. The Gothenburg Port Authority is now set to extend the discount
period and is already outlining a renewed environmental discount.
As part of the Gothenburg Port Authority environmental discount scheme,
vessels that report good environmental performance receive a 10% discount
on the port tariff, assuming they achieve a certain level according to
the globally recognised environmental indexes ESI and CSI.
Vessels that run on LNG receive an extra discount of 20% each time they
call. The LNG discount is subject to a time limit and is due to run to
the end of this year, although the Port Authority is considering extending
the discount period.
LNG is currently the cleanest marine fuel
available for large-scale shipping. Use of the fuel began to gather momentum
at the Port of Gothenburg in the second half of 2016. Previously, shipping
companies were sceptical about investing as there was no means of bunkering
LNG at the port. At the same time, the bunkering companies were unwilling
to supply LNG without a customer base.
“A catalyst was necessary to break the deadlock, and the energy discount
has been a strong contributing factor behind many players choosing to follow
the LNG route,” said Edvard Molitor, Environmental Manager at the
Gothenburg Port Authority.
“It took time before it really took off, but today these players are at
the LNG forefront at the Port of Gothenburg. Now that the discount period
is drawing to a close, we can see that the upward trend is continuing at
the port with a growing number of LNG calls. We aim to maintain our support
for this development, and we are therefore planning to extend the four-year
discount period by a further two years,” said Edvard Molitor.
The 20% discount will be phased out during 2020 with a reduction to 10%.
However, during the phase-out period the Port Authority will focus on developing
the regular indexed environmental discount, which takes greater account
of the vessels’ environmental impact rather than the technology or the
fuel used to run the vessel.
“We will of course continue to support vessels that offer a good environmental
profile, but we won’t make any distinction in the discount between vessels
that produce the same environmental outcomes. As the environmental effects
of LNG operation continue to be good, these will also be incorporated into
our future environmental control system,” said Edvard Molitor.