The Directive 2014/94/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure defines a common framework of measures for the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure in the European Union in order to minimise dependence on oil and to mitigate the environmental impact of transport. It sets out minimum requirements for the building-up of alternative fuels infrastructure, including LNG refuelling points for inland waterway transport with non-discriminatory access to those bunkering facilities. However, the market development is still held back by technological and commercial short-comings, lack of consumer acceptance and missing adequate infrastructure. Interventions for stimulating implementation of such infrastructure are therefore necessary.
The Action’s overall objective is to foster LNG use in inland navigation sector across the Danube, therefore contributing to the European alternative fuels implementation strategy. The Action, including a study and a real-life pilot deployment, is implemented in the Core Port of Csepel-Freeport, the biggest inland port in Hungary and a crossroad for flows and transhipment of freight between inland waterway, rail and road transport. It is located in the southern part of Budapest at the crossing of the Mediterranean, Orient/East-Mediterranean and Rhine-Danube Core Network Corridors. To deliver on the overall objective of the Action, there are two specific objectives, which will be met by carrying out five defined activities within the Action.
The first specific objective is to understand all necessary technical, economic and customer-related requirements to ensure innovative, modular and openly accessible LNG offshore bunkering for Inland Waterway (IWW) vessels and onshore refuelling service for long haulage trucks, as well as for trains. This objective will be met through a study activity (activity 1) including a feasibility study to locate the LNG bunkering facility within the Freeport of Csepel, its complete conceptual plans, the technical feasibility and roadmap to retrofit diesel locomotives to LNG, as well as an economic study at micro and macro levels to secure appropriate business models allowing for long-term viability of affordable and publicly accessible LNG bunkering services on the Danube. Activity 1 also includes an environmental assessment of expected emissions reduction based on the forecasted growth of LNG propelled vessels on the Danube, including the Freeport of Csepel.
The second specific objective is to build technical, financial and commercial real-life experience related to the operations of on-shore LNG bunkering and LNG-propelled vessels on the Danube. This objective will be met by deploying and operating two pilots: one pilot for the innovative LNG bunkering and refuelling station for vessels and trucks in the Freeport of Csepel (activity 2), and one pilot to retrofit and operate a freight vessel with LNG propulsion (activity 3). The pilots will provide through the evaluation of usage data an understanding of customers' needs and attitude to LNG, and will respond to their expectations by removing existing technological, commercial and acceptance barriers, eventually encouraging a switch to LNG in the inland navigation sector. Collection and exploitation of operational data that will feed the study activity and finally contribute drawing conclusions and make recommendations for future roll-out along the Danube and in the EU.
To fully reach both specific objectives, the Action will call upon experience, outcomes and lessons-learned from other TEN-T and CEF Actions in the domain and in the region. The consolidated results of the Action will be widely disseminated at national and European levels.