Yesterday at the Green 4Sea Forum Panayiotis Mitrou, Hellenic Lloyd’s Marine Research, Development and Innovation Manager, addressed on the prospects of LNG as Marine Fuel and presented the POSEIDON MED project, that over the past months it is running its works has been received enthusiastically by the shipping community, the local society, as well as the political administration.
LNG can be a solution to the main challenge ahead, which is no other than compliance with the 0.5% Sulphur cap. Furthermore it can achieve a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a practical extinction of sulphur oxides and particulate matters, explained Panayiotis. He talked about the decrease of Sulphur content at a global and European level and identified the gap that needs to be filled in the Mediterranean area, under the prism that there may be a lag between the EU and the Global Sulphur cap implementation.
Panayiotis also presented the challenges addressed at a European level. He addressed the social and economic benefits deriving from the use of LNG like conformance with the most ambitious environmental policies, decrease of transportation cost and strengthening of shipping against other modes of transport, the diversification of energy sources and also referred to macro-regional strategies which lately included the Adriatic-Ionian Region.
Reference was also made to the ‘well to wheel’ or in such case ‘well to propel’ environmental impact of alternatives with focus on the Green House Gas burden of the desulphurisation process and the difficulties EU refineries face in undertaking relevant investment.
Panayiotis also had the chance to unveil common myths about LNG like the claim it may not be safe or an expensive option in terms of infrastructure development and not competitive under recent oil price developments. It was stressed LNG has a proven safety record for many decades and reminded us of all the applications that natural gas already has in our everyday lives (gas fuelled buses or even cars etc.). He also emphasised on the long-term view on pricing implying that LNG will be competitive to fuel oil prices and investment will be justified with reasonable returns.
On a practical and regional perspective the Poseidon Med project and its next steps ahead were presented. POSEIDON MED is the first Cross European Border project which aims to introduce LNG as the main fuel for the shipping industry and develop a sufficient infrastructure network for a bunkering value chain. It focuses on the eastern Mediterranean region with five Member States (Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Croatia and Slovenia) involved. It is a partnership between gas suppliers , shipping companies, Port Authorities, Technical organisations etc. POSEIDON MED is officially included in ‘Juncker package’ candidate projects.
Panayiotis talked about the ongoing project work in addressing the barriers in the use of LNG marine fuel. Such barriers include among other infrastructure, the development of a new regulatory framework and financing.
Panayiotis closed with the benefits anticipated by the works of Poseidon Med :
- Significant reduction of emissions, especially in adversely affected coastal areas
- Fostering of competitive maritime transportation
- Improvement of transportation costs
- Notable introduction and application of technological expertise to strengthen the maritime and shipping sector
- Potential and revival of the shipbuilding sector in new sectors of added value
- Safeguarding the industry and the Country through smooth harmonisation with future key challenges
- Synergies with Small scale LNG and the shore energy sector