Poseidon Med II is a key European project co-funded through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) aiming to accelerate the adoption of LNG (liquefied natural gas) in the Eastern Mediterranean marine transportation. Poseidon Med II encompasses all the technical, regulatory, operational, and financial parameters to establish a viable, efficient, and sustainable supply chain in the region, unlocking the necessary investments for the establishment of the small scale LNG (ssLNG) infrastructure in the area.
Under increased pressure to follow a greener "pathway" towards a decarbonized future, the shipping industry needs to turn climate change targets into tangible action. LNG as a marine fuel can reduce GHG emissions, thus improving air quality at ports, while paving the way to carbon neutral shipping with the use of liquefied biomethane (LBM) and liquefied synthetic methane (LSM).
The increasing numbers of LNG – fuelled vessels and LNG bunkering vessels (the latter expected to rise from the seven operating in the EU to almost fifteen vessels by the end of 2021), testify to the growing recognition of the environmental benefits of LNG as a marine fuel. These investments along with the expansion of shoreside LNG infrastructure, provide the critical last-mile delivery of LNG to ships.
In 2020 the Greek Ministry of Maritime Affairs gave the "Port of Piraeus" the "green" light to start, in specific locations inside the port area, LNG bunkering operations, either from ship-to-ship or truck-to-ship, whenever the necessary investments are in place.
Given the key role of the Revithoussa LNG Terminal as the "logistical springboard" of the ssLNG supply chain in the wider region, investments for small scale facilities in the terminal are underway. A truck loading station, for bunkering and off grid consumers' supply, is currently under construction and will be operational by Dec 2021. Moreover, the basic engineering design of a new ssLNG jetty has been completed. The facility will accommodate vessels from 1.000m3 to 20.000m3 and is expected to be operational by Sep 2022.
With regard to ports, the respective master plans for LNG bunkering facilities for Piraeus, Patras, Heraklion, Igoumenitsa and Limassol are completed, the mandatory environmental studies are being finalized and Cost Benefit Analyses have already been carried out. To maximize the opportunities created by these actions, an LNG bunkering vessel, registered at the Piraeus Port, loading LNG from the nearby Revithoussa Terminal, will be operational by 2022.
In Cyprus, PMII is financing the studies for the construction of a permanent berth for the docking of LNG bunkering vessels, opposite to the jetty for the FSRU berthing in Vassilikos area.
Furthermore, encouraging the shipping world's efforts to meet the challenging IMO and EU environmental driven targets and to lead by example, PMII is supporting the design studies regarding the retrofitting of ten conventional fuelled vessels to run on LNG. Additionally Cost Benefit Analyses have been performed for all Ports and the ten selected vessels.
At the same time, the construction of an innovative Semi Ballastable Barge Transporter (SBBT) has been launched in Italy (scheduled for delivery in 2021), which will operate in the Mediterranean and the Adriatic Sea.
On the regulatory framework, the "umbrella" legislation ensuring safe LNG bunkering operations at Greek Ports was completed and published already in 2019 in the Government Gazette (Presidential Decree 64/2019). Additionally, PMII has drafted a Practical Guide to Port Authorities on how to maintain safety during LNG bunkering operations.
In order to establish an economically viable supply chain, PMII has financed a series of studies assessing the cost of LNG bunkering logistics and synergies with other sectors, such as supply with natural gas the industrial and/or the urban network of Western Greece (Patras & Igoumenitsa) and Vassilikos (Cyprus).
Poseidon Med II, has already laid the foundations for LNG bunkering in Eastern Mediterranean, setting the example for a cleaner, more effective, competitive and sustainable marine transportation towards a zero-carbon future. With Poseidon Med II Eastern Mediterranean is sailing into the LNG era.
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