LOTOS and PGNiG: first commercial bunkerings of ships with LNG in Polish seaports
PGNiG and LOTOS conducted two commercial bunkerings of liquefied natural gas (LNG) between 13th and 18th of March 2019, PGNiG says in a press release. These are the first operations of this kind carried out at seaports in Gdańsk and Gdynia. The companies continue their cooperation in this area – it will strengthen the competitiveness of Polish ports and popularize the LNG's ecological fuel in the Baltic Sea.
"Bunkering of ships with natural gas in liquefied form is another of many possibilities of using gas, which PGNiG imports to Poland from Qatar, Norway and the USA through the President Lech Kaczyński LNG Terminal in Świnoujście. We are convinced that this fuel, due to its ecological values among others, is the future of maritime transport in the Baltic Sea," commented Maciej Woźniak, Vice-President of the PGNiG Management Board for Trade.
"Grupa LOTOS is keenly involved in projects in the field of alternative fuels, which is part of the development strategy of our capital group for 2017-2022. LOTOS wants to become a leader in the implementation of new generation alternative fuels and LNG is certainly one of them. It is ecological and safe fuel. The development of logistics and bunker infrastructure for LNG is the key to further increase its popularity. Therefore, as Grupa LOTOS, we are involved in a feasibility study on the construction of a small scale LNG terminal in Gdańsk, which is co-financed from the European Union (CEF)," said Patryk Demski, Vice-President of the Management Board of Grupa LOTOS for Investment and Innovation.
"The cooperation of Grupa LOTOS and PGNiG has been going on for many years. PGNiG is a natural gas supplier to Grupa LOTOS and Grupa LOTOS uses this fuel for refining of crude oil. Cooperation is very successful. Both companies take advantage of their experience – knowledge about the marine fuel market on one hand, and specifics of LNG on the other," added Cezary Godziuk, President of the Management Board of LOTOS Asfalt.
On March 13th this year 54 tonnes of LNG fuel (32,000 Nm3 of gas) were injected into tanks of the "Fure Valo" vessel. The unit belongs to the Swedish shipowner, who plans to further develop the LNG-powered fleet, and extend it to six such vessels by the end of the year. The second bunkering took place on March 18th this year. 18 tonnes of LNG fuel (10,800 Nm3) from single tanker truck were loaded into tanks of the "Ireland" vessel.
"I am glad that, according to last year's announcements, we made the first fully commercial bunkering of ships with LNG in Poland. This is a milestone in the development of this market in Polish seaports, which will significantly increase their competitiveness. I would like to emphasize particularly the model cooperation in the bunkering of ships with both the Port of Gdańsk and the Port of Gdynia," said Henryk Mucha, President of PGNiG Obrót Detaliczny Sp. z o.o. (PGNiG Retail Branch).
According to the directive on the development of alternative fuels infrastructure, by the end of 2025 at the latest, a sufficient number of LNG bunkering points should be created in seaports. In case of Poland, these are to be: Gdańsk, Gdynia, Szczecin and Świnoujście. From now on, the LNG bunkering service enters the permanent offer of both entities and can be provided in both Tri-City ports.
"The interest in bunkering in Polish ports among shipowners is very high. This is due to the growing awareness about LNG, an alternative marine fuel, which is the only mature solution that can meet current and future emission standards, with simultaneous economic viability," said Marcin Szczudło, Vice-President of PGNiG Obrót Detaliczny responsible for the CNG / LNG area.
LNG will be gaining popularity also due to the adoption of the so-called "sulphur directive". The European Commission plans to completely eliminate emissions from maritime transport by 2050. For Central and Eastern Europe this means more stringent standards than in other parts of the world. The "sulphur directive" imposes on shipowners whose ships sail around the SECA area (Sulphur Emission Control Areas), including in the Baltic and the North Sea, the obligation to use fuels with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.1%.