In 2017, the sale of bunker oil—fuel for shipping—in the Rotterdam bunker port diminished from 10.1 million m3 to 9.9 million m3. Most bunkers contain fuel oil, in 2017, 8.3 million m3. The throughput of bunkered liquefied natural gas (LNG) increased from less than 100 tonnes to 1500 tonnes during the same period. The port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe.
The increase in LNG bunkers was mainly due to the Wes Amelie, the world’s first container ship that was converted to LNG propulsion. The vessel regularly bunkers at the City Terminal at the Prins Willem Alexanderhaven.
Last year, Shell also put the ocean-going vessel Cardissa into use. The vessel, which has Rotterdam as its work location, will supply customers throughout Europe with LNG from the Gate terminal in Rotterdam. The commissioning of the Cardissa is an enormous step in the transition from fuel oil to LNG as fuel for shipping and is in line with the policy of the Port Authority which focuses on this.
According to market parties, approximately 1 to 1.5 million m3 of bunkered fuel oil consists of ultra-low sulfur fuel oil with a sulfur content lower than 0.1% (ULFSO). Ultra-low sulfur fuel oil has been used since 2015. At that time, the permissible sulfur content in fuel oil went from 1.0 to 0.1% in the ECAs (emission control areas) of the North Sea, the Baltic Sea and the coasts along the United States. The sales of these new products are not yet specifically reflected in the figures of the port of Rotterdam.