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Fig. 1: Container ship at the port of Gothenburg. Source: Port of Gothenburg.

Safe and Environmentally Friendly Refueling of Ships at Port of Gothenburg

Port of Gothenburg

About port of Gothenburg

The port of Gothenburg is the largest port in Scandinavia and the gateway to the world for a large proportion of Swedish industry. Located on the west coast of Sweden, just 90 minutes from open sea to berth, almost 30 percent of Swedish foreign trade passes the port of Gothenburg. With Oslo, Copenhagen, and Stockholm three capital cities are within a radius of 500 km. There are 130 direct services to destinations in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and North America. Almost all Swedish exports are transported by sea. Nearly 30 percent of exported goods pass via the quays at the Port of Gothenburg, which also handles over half of the country’s total container trade. More than 11.000 ships visit the port every year. All these ships need to be filled with gasoline before they can depart onto the water again. And this is where vacuum technology comes into place in a vapor recovery unit to degas carbon dioxide during the filling of the large ship tanks.
Vapor recovery for carbon dioxide reduction The Port of Gothenburg is classified as one of the worlds greenest ports and is actively working to minimize the impact of maritime operations on the environment and to contribute sustainable transportation. Carbon dioxide in large quantities is harmful for the environment and therefore it is essential, that the CO2 is removed safely in the refueling process. Vapor recovery refers to the suction of vapors, that would leak into the air in refineries or gas stations. The main goal of using such vapor recovery units is to prevent and reduce the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Not only to reduce the negative economic and environmental consequences of released vapors but also to prevent from safety hazards by handling CO2. The released CO2 is retrieved and filtered before retraining it back into the atmosphere.
By means of a suction device, the part of the fuel gas-air mixture displaced during refueling - which is located above the liquid gasoline in the vehicle's fuel tank - is returned to the storage tanks by means of vacuum. This contributes significantly to a reduction in hydrocarbon emissions.
Busch vacuum technology and its benefits in vapor recovery The previously used vacuum pump in the vapor recovery unit at the port of Gothenburg was very old and needed maintenance. But due to the age of the pump, there were no spare parts available anymore. The responsible at the port were looking for a better solution for vapor recovery during the refueling process of the ships. Since the unit is in use permanently and every day a replacement had to be available very fast. The vacuum experts at Busch recommended a DOLPHIN liquid ring vacuum pump. Thanks to preparation and support from Busch the port of Gothenburg managed to change to remove the old pump and installing the new vacuum pump into the unit. The change over was made within two days from stop to start.
The new vacuum solution does have a better capacity and therefore ensures an improved vapor recovery of the CO2. This ensures the protection of the environment and a high process reliability for the port of Gothenburg and the hundreds of ships that need to be refueled every day. The new DOLPHIN liquid ring vacuum pump by Busch even showed another benefit when in operation. The new vacuum pump is significantly quieter than the previous solution. This makes working close to the vapor recovery unit for the employees much more comfortable. The responsible at the port of Gothenburg are very satisfied with the new vacuum solution and are looking forward to the safe and environmentally friendly refueling of more ships every day.