18 BULKDISTRIBUTOR Logistics November/December 2016 Environment Agency awards logistics contract T he Environment Agency has awarded a one-year contract to Stobart Group to store, track and transport its 40km of temporary barriers and other mobile equipment. The contract will include use of the Stobart Group’s network of resilience centres, distribution centres and extensive fleet of over 3,000 trucks. Stobart Group will be working with the Environment Agency to provide a 24/7 logistics support service throughout the year assisting the Environment Agency before, during and after flooding. Andrew Tinkler, Stobart Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “Last year’s floods were devastating for many communities across the UK. I am very pleased to announce that Stobart Group will be providing support to the Environment Agency over the next 12 months and utilising our logistical expertise, skilled workforce and assets to deploy equipment as and when required.” Liquefied Natural Gas as pioneering alternative in industrial and transportation sectors A t a specialist meeting held last month by VTG Aktiengesellschaft and Brunsbüttel Ports GmbH, representatives from the political and business scenes highlighted the future significance of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the industrial and transportation sectors. The experts called for infrastructure investment to enable LNG to become fully established. In this context, a German LNG import terminal is essential. Despite the fact that the potential of LNG has been acknowledged, Germany is still lagging behind when compared to the rest of Europe. In addition to the transportation sector, LNG also benefits the industrial sector and is gaining increasing importance when it comes to energy policy issues. Germany’s current natural gas provisions are mainly supplied via pipelines from the Netherlands, Norway and Russia. Due to declining natural gas production, the Netherlands will cease to be a supplier in the foreseeable future, thus specifically increasing dependence on Russian natural gas, for example. LNG offers the possibility to obtain large quantities of natural gas worldwide − independent of pipelines. This, in turn, would decrease reliance on the current suppliers and market prices would become freely negotiable. The long-term benefits of LNG as an alternative to pipelines are particularly clear in the industrial sector. VTG Aktiengesellschaft, in collaboration with Chart Ferox a.s., specialists in the development of transport containers for cryogenic liquids, developed and constructed an LNG tank wagon for industrial customers. “Our LNG wagon enables us to transport environmentally friendly LNG by means of environmentally friendly rail,” said Dr Heiko Fischer, CEO at VTG AG. “Much larger quantities of LNG can be transported in this way, which is primarily beneficial to the industrial segment.” The VTG LNG tank wagon’s capacity is double that of a truck and three times that of an LNG tank container, it can be used throughout Europe and is able to keep the LNG in a cryogenic state for up to six weeks. Dr Jochen Wilkens, Chairman of the Chemical Industry Association in Northern Germany, also offered his views from the perspective of the energy-intensive industrial sector: “The chemical industry in the Lower Elbe region is one of the largest gas consumers. For our company, security for the supply of natural gas, when compared internationally, is a decisive locational factor. We see LNG as an important component in Germany’s energy mix. In order to remain competitive, our locations in northern Germany have to be able to benefit from price developments in the LNG gas market. This is why Germany needs its own LNG import terminal. On the whole, ensuring a reliable energy supply is one of the basic components of responsible industrial policy.” Plans for an LPG import terminal at Brunsbüttel Port in the Hamburg metropolitan region are currently going ahead. The concept is based on a three-pillar strategy: Firstly, LNG as an alternative fuel for ships on the busy Elbe-Kiel Canal shipping point and overland transport, secondly, the regional, as well as transregional, supply to the industrial sector and thirdly the possibility to further diversify Germany’s natural gas procurement sources through LNG. LNG is natural gas which has been cooled to between -164°c and -161°c and, in the process, is converted to liquid form. LNG is condensed and therefore only occupies six-hundredths of the volume of natural gas, making transportation efficient and considerably more simple. Owing to these properties, LNG is traded worldwide and is available in large quantities.