LNG bunkering: Looking towards a new horizon in the maritime sector

Jose M Ruiz Anton's picture
Jose M Ruiz Anton, Head of LNG Bunkering Development, Gas Natural Fenosa
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From the 1st of January 2020, the environmental regulations of the International Maritime Organization and the European Parliament will limit sulphur emissions to 0.5%. The maritime sector must reinvent itself with innovative and sustainable solutions that enable these demands to be met. The use of LNG as maritime fuel has advantages for the environment: it cuts ambient noise by 50%, CO2 emissions by 25% and NOx and SOx by over 80%.

Actually, more than 119 ships are powered by natural gas, and there is an order portfolio for 125 new ships from now to 2025. The world fleet powered by LNG is increasing at a pace of between 15 and 25% a year, so should this trend continue in 2025 there may be a worldwide fleet of 500 to 600 ships.

In Spain, the country with Europe’s largest LNG storage capacity, Gas Natural Fenosa plays a leading role, providing more than 70% of the supply, which allows greater capacity for managing methane levels.

Spain is the country within Europe with the largest LNG storage capacity. There are 6 LNG terminals in operation, and no Spanish port is further than 300 km from an LNG terminal.

The Core LNG HIVE program (where Gas Natural Fenosa is a partner) has the aim to develop a safe and efficient, integrated logistics and supply chain for LNG in the transport industry (small scale and bunkering), particularly for maritime transport of the Iberian Peninsula. It involves 25 studies, to be conducted by the partner companies for adaptation of infrastructure and logistical – commercial development in order to offer small-scale supply services and bunkering.

Gas Natural Fenosa and Baleária signed the first permanent LNG bunkering contract for ship propulsion in Spain. The supply contract will be exclusive for 10 years and will initially apply to the ports of Barcelona, Valencia and Algeciras, and then will be extended to all the peninsular ports operated by the shipping company together with the entire new fleet powered by this fuel.

This will be a tailor-made contract where the logistical solution and infrastructure needed will change according to the Port where the LNG is supplied. To implement the supply in Barcelona under the contract GNF will have a LNG bunkering vessel in the Port of Barcelona. In the case of Valencia and Algeciras, GNF is already working on a land-based solution.

Gas Natural Fenosa has the capacity to be the agent of change in the maritime sector as:

  • It develops infrastructure at the port
  • Its Maritime Transport team has managed the construction of 19 LNG tankers in the past 15 years and has experience with various containment and propulsion systems
  • It provides personalized solutions, developing the best logistical solution using road tankers, multi-track systems for faster loading, and storage tanks in ports and tankers.

Gas Natural Fenosa is the largest integrated gas and electricity company in Spain and Latin America. With over 19,000 employees, a presence in more than 30 countries, and assets worth over 47 billion euros.

A leading global operator in LNG since 1969 who is present throughout the gas value chain with a supply portfolio of 30bcm in the Atlantic and Mediterranean basins, and a fleet of 11 methane tankers.

Keen to hear more on LNG bunkering and the latest developments from industry experts? Register for the 2018 Gastech Exhibition and Conference taking place 17-20 September in Barcelona.

Image courtesy of Gas Natural Fenosa