The Port of Barcelona, APM Terminals Barcelona, Applus IDIADA, HAM and Naturgy recently completed the pilot project to test the viability of natural gas as a fuel in port machinery. The initiative, consisting of transforming APM Terminals Barcelona’s straddle carrier (machine for the transport of containers) to LNG, concluded with good results in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, specifically CO and CO2, certifying an important reduction in comparison with the machines that work with diesel.
On the test bench, the reduction in fuel consumption was 11%, which can be an economic stimulus for the transformation or purchase of new machines that run on natural gas. Total hydrocarbon emissions are also reduced with the use of natural gas, according to the tests. In order to also achieve a reduction in NOx, the tests conclude that the installation of catalysts in the machine would be necessary.
Applus IDIADA was in charge of modifying the diesel engine for use with LNG. To do this, the combustion chamber was modified, the gas injectors, the intake manifold, the turbocharger and the MOC catalyst were installed, the latter for the treatment of CH4 and CO emissions. During the tests, carried out at the IDIADA test bench and at the APM Terminals Barcelona facilities, it was found that the engine, converted to 100% natural gas, provides the necessary performance for the operation of the machine and reduces polluting emissions. IDIADA carried out emission measurement tests with Portable Emissions Measurement System (PEMS) equipment.
Grupo HAM installed the 600-liter LNG tank, as well as the entire piping system to feed the transformed engine. It was also in charge of the LNG refueling using a new mobile service station for the supply of the fuel, developed to operate in different locations with all the security measures. The system is 100% compatible with the use of renewable gases, so LNG could be replaced by bio-LNG.
Naturgy carried out the LNG supply logistics study, both technically and economically. Studying the different supply alternatives for terminal machinery is a critical point in the project since supplying a machine with these characteristics, which cannot use urban roads to move to an external natural gas station, is not an easy task. Finally, the most viable option was the use of the mobile unit developed by HAM.
APM Terminals Barcelona was in charge of the assembly and commissioning of the transformed straddle carrier, without affecting the terminal’s operations or increasing the risks for port workers. For all these reasons, different risk studies were carried out to determine the viability of the use of LNG applying the corresponding security measures. The machine could work within the usual operations of the terminal, with autonomies similar to diesel.
The Port of Barcelona coordinated the project, both technically and economically, and developed the safety studies. The reduction of polluting emissions and GHG is one of the port’s priorities, in line with the objectives of the European Union and the International Maritime Organization.
The project to transform the straddle carrier to LNG, which began in January 2016 and had a budget of 1.22 million euros, is included in the CORE LNGas hive project, coordinated by Enagás.
Source: Port of Barcelona