Rotterdam welcomes first LNG tanker

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The port of Rotterdam is gearing up to welcome its first liquefied natural gas LNG tanker, a key development as other energy options are becoming fewer.

The British Trader, of oil giant BP, is to dock at a new terminal west of Rotterdam carrying 130,000 cubic metres of liquefied natural gas.

The new terminal marks the port’s entry into the 21st century, the port authority says, now that nuclear energy has again come under fire, the price of oil is at an all-time high and Dutch gas fields are running dry.

LNG is made liquid by removing certain elements from the gas, which is then cooled to some 160 degrees below zero. This reduces its volume by a factor 600, a huge difference in terms of transport and storage.

Rottterdam’s LNG terminal, the country’s first, will be able to handle 12 billion cubic metres per year, once it starts operating at full capacity as of September.

Contracts have been signed with five large European energy companies to provide initial capacity, enough to supply all of Holland’s seven million households throughout the year.

Rotterdam is used to large ships but not to this particular kind of fuel and storage, which will be surrounded by strict security measures.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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