POSEIDON MED II Project sets the LNG pathway for the Eastern Mediterranean decarbonized future


Winter 2020

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 marine fuel can reduce GHG emissions, thus improving air quality at ports, while paving the way to an environmental neutral shipping with the use of liquefied biomethane (LBM) and liquefied synthetic methane (LSM).

The increasing numbers of the LNG fueled vessels and LNG bunkering vessels (the latter expected to rise from seven operating in the EU to almost fifteen vessels by the end of 2021), testify to the growing recognition of LNG environmental benefits as a marine fuel. These investments along with the expansion of the shoreside LNG infrastructure, provide the critical last-mile delivery of LNG to ships.

In 2020 the Greek Ministry of Maritime Affairs gave the "green" light to the Port of Piraeus to start LNG bunkering operations, either from ship-to-ship or truck-to-ship in specific locations inside the port area, whenever the necessary investments are in place.

Since Revithoussa LNG Terminal has a key role as the "logistical spring board" of the ssLNG supply chain in the wider region, investments on small scale facilities on the terminal are underway. A truck loading station, for bunkering and off grid consumers' supply, is currently under construction and will be operational by December 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 September 2022.

Capitalizing on these achievements, an LNG bunkering vessel registered at the Piraeus Port, loading LNG from the nearby Revithoussa Terminal, will be operational by 2022.

Moreover, licensing procedures of the small-scale LNG facilities at the peripheral Ports of Patras and Igoumenitsa have passed to their 2nd phase regarding approval of the final environmental impact assessments by the responsible Ministries, while the approval of the updated Master Plan of the port of Heraklion is expected.

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, with shipping companies investing on assets that bring them in alignment with the IMO and EU environmental targets, PMII is once again pioneering by supporting the design studies for the retrofitting of ten conventional fueled vessels to LNG powered vessels. 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 regulating the safety of the LNG bunkering operations at the Greek Ports has been published last year 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 financed a number of studies assessing the LNG bunkering logistics' cost, as well as 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.

Website: www.poseidonmedii.eu

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