Fuelling a future on Europe's waterways
Norway, famous for its stunning fjords
and pristine environment,
a place where the future of energy
is not in the future any more.
Amid this tranquillity, a change is happening,
a change which may have an impact in countries
far beyond Norway.
Monday morning on the Mastrafjord ferry...
..a busy commuter route that's part of daily life
on the Stavanger Peninsula.
Two-million people use it to cross the Boknafjord each year.
This route is very important.
It's the second largest route in the country,
so people need these boats to work.
The ferry makes 42 crossings daily.
Today, sea fog is restricting visibility.
Captain Vikøren must draw on all his skill
to make the crossing safely.
When it's bad visibility,
the radar is the most important instrument.
You are steering
and you also keep an eye on the course and the speed.
Because of the weather, there are a lot of challenges here.
I'm just turning the boat now to get a better angle for the waves,
so it gets much calmer in the boat.
Below deck, the Mastrafjord is no ordinary ferry.
It's technically innovative.
Powered by liquefied natural gas or LNG,
gas that has been cooled to -162 Celsius,
shrinking it 600 times
and liquefying it for easy transportation and storage.
There were built five prototypes of this kind of ferry
and it's a new technology.
It shows that the world is moving forward. It's a new step.
The ferry's powerful gas engines
are some of the cleanest afloat.
Ship's mechanic, Ulrik Kjerpeset,
and chief engineer, Rolf Nilsen,
keep them running smoothly.
There you go.
I started working here four years ago.
I didn't know so much about LNG.
I think it's very positive.
You don't have to change the oil.
It's so clean. It never gets black.
It looks beautiful.
Tonight, Rolf and Ulrik will oversee the refuelling
of the Mastrafjord.
At a nearby storage plant,
LNG, destined for the ferry,
is being collected for delivery by truck.
Boats can also be refuelled
from another ship at sea or from a station on land.
The Mastrafjord is on a tight schedule
and delivering LNG by truck offers the most flexibility.
Gas car, are you ready?
Ulrik, are you ready?
The refuelling is a safe operation.
Rolf and Ulrik ensure everything runs according to plan.
Now you can open 354 and 352.
Open 354 and 352.
Tank car, you now are open for the nitrogen.
as warm air contacts the freezing-cold pipes
that the LNG is pumped through.
The refuelling process takes 90 minutes.
Once complete, the Mastrafjord
has enough fuel to operate
for up to eight days.
Traditional shipping emissions
tend to have a high sulphur concentration.
From 2015, the EU will enforce strict new emissions limits
on air quality.
It's a change the Mastrafjord's owners, Fjord1,
are ready for.
We consider ourselves as a leader in the field of LNG.
We have put in an operation,
the world's first LNG ferry,
and today we have 12 such ferries running.
All in all, this is a step in the right direction
to find environmentally friendly transport solutions.
At the Shell Technology Centre in Amsterdam,
Tim Last tests and improves
the raw natural gas that's refined
to make the LNG product.
Before we produce the LNG,
we have to remove all those components
like hydrogen sulphide or CO2.
In Amsterdam we are trying to improve current processes
and to develop new processes for the future.
And part of my job is to help to improve the solvents we use
for cleaning up natural gas
coming out of the ground.
The solvents are necessary to make the process more efficient
and to make the gas cleaner,
because otherwise, it's not possible to liquefy the natural gas.
Tim and his team have been working for many years
to develop the refining process -
scientific research that's crucial to the success of LNG.
LNG as a transportation fuel
for the marine sector is going to be big.
So we look at inland waterways,
we look at the Baltics, some of the coastal areas in the US.
These are the early adopters of tighter emissions controls
but over time, this will spread to more and more ports and routes,
and LNG is really one of the best ways
to cope with those emissions constraints.
The benefits of LNG
are making waves across commercial shipping.
In the small fishing port of Åkrehamn,
trawler men, Jørgen Runehall and Henrik Anderson,
are excited by what they've heard.
There are a lot of changes out there with fishing
and with sailing, we'll have to think more and more about the environment.
You see around here, the ferries are starting to use LNG,
the newest ones.
Not yet, we have the technology for the small ships, like we have,
but maybe bigger fishing ships do
and I think that's a step in the right direction.
Treat the North Sea nicely,
so we can live on this fishing for many years.
LNG is not an immediate solution for Jørgen and Henrik
in their small fishing boats,
but it is already a reality today
with lots more potential.
The future of LNG as a transportation fuel
is not restricted to marine.
It's going to be used in road transportation, mining and in rail,
anywhere where fuel consumption is high
and they're looking for emissions control.
In order to be the world's most competitive
and innovative energy company,
it's vital for us to be at the forefront of new technologies.
The need for energy is increasing.
In order to preserve our unique environment,
the world needs smart and effective solutions.
LNG is an important part of this journey.