Klaipėda Is Developing a Unique Hybrid Liquefied Biogas Barge


Lithuanian LNG cluster has started 2018 with ambitious goals. The organisation has gathered an international consortium in Klaipėda, which is currently developing a unique vessel for inland waters. The prototype of a hybrid barge, running on liquefied biogas and electricity should be introduced already at the end of February.


The implementation of the innovative technological project involved the knowledge and resources of partners from three countries: Klaipėda-based Western Baltic Engineering, a subsidiary of the Western Shipyard, the Swedish Avatar Logistics company, the Port of Hamburg Marketing, as well as Klaipėda Science and Technology Park (KSTP), which coordinates the activity of the Lithuanian LNG cluster and became the project's leading partner.


The new technological solution will be used for transporting liquid cargo via inland waters between Stockholm and Göteborg – the second-largest city in Sweden. The barge will be 86 m long, featuring the capacity of 2114 m3.


The prototype currently under development is unique in the entire world: the fact that the barge will be running on liquefied biogas and electricity will enable to achieve zero emissions of CO2, sulphur and particulates. The liquefied biogas is produced using biomethane – a concentration of methane gas can be supplied to a natural gas network or liquefied and used as transportation fuel. The main source of raw material for the production of biogas is livestock, poultry and farming waste. A part of the raw material consists of municipal waste from cities, sludge from municipal sewage treatment plants, as well as waste from food processing companies.


Just as CO2, methane gas contributes to the greenhouse effect. Using it for fuel helps to protect the nature.


The barge project is unique from the political perspective as well: Sweden is planning to abandon the use of diesel fuel before 2050 and thus is especially interested in various innovative and environmentally-friendly solutions.


Although inland water transport is regarded as one of the cleanest means of transport, the European fleet is very old. The average age of its inland barges is 25 years.


“The European Union is highly-interested in renewing its inland waterway fleet and has already planned certain measures. The current circumstances create a very favourable environment for the development of the shipbuilding sector, as well as the liquefied natural gas and biogas distribution chain.” stated Andrius Sutnikas, Development Manager of the KSTP, coordinating the activity at the Lithuanian LNG cluster.


He says that this project opened new business opportunities regarding increasing business competitiveness for the Lithuanian LNG cluster members developing new transport technology.


The future operator of the barge – the Swedish Avatar Logistics – will also stimulate its competitiveness, because the freight forwarding sector is increasing its attention on emissions and searching for more efficient solutions that would enable to reduce negative impact of transport on the environment.


The innovative technological solution is developed under the framework of Go LNG and Emma projects of the Interreg Baltic Sea Programme.