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Inland ships

Inland ships

Use of LNG as a ship fuel could also improve the environmental performance of inland shipping, which faces similar challenges with respect to air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions. There are several examples of barges that have been equipped with LNG engines. Because inland ships generally sail between seaports and the hinterland, these ports have a key role to play in facilitating bunkering infrastructure for inland shipping. As an example, the EU-funded project LNG Masterplan is focusing on the LNG supply for the Rhine-Main-Danube axis.



One of the most widely known examples is the inland tanker MS Argonon, the first barge in Europe to sail on LNG. Its two dual-fuel Caterpillar 3512 engines run on a mixture of 80% LNG and 20% diesel. With 30m3 LNG, the MS Argonon can travel from Rotterdam to Basel, Switzerland without bunkering, a round trip of 1,600 km.


Greenstream and Greenrhine

The Greenstream and Greenrhine are the first two fully LNG-fuelled inland tankers. In contrast to the Argonon, these barges are not equipped with dual-fuel technology but run solely on LNG. They have fully electric propulsion, with four LNG-powered SI-engines generating 285 kW each.


The tankers were ordered in 2012 and built by Peters Shipyards in Kampen, the Netherlands. The Greenstream was launched in March 2013, followed six months later by the Greenrhine. Both barges are chartered by Shell to transport liquid fuels along the Rhine and managed by Interstream Barging.


Further reading


The number of LNG-fuelled ships has greatly increased over the past few years. While the first LNG-fuelled ships operated mainly in Norwegian waters, LNG-fuelled ships for operation in European, North American and even Australian waters are now on order or have already been delivered.