Representatives of seven Baltic ports gathered in Copenhagen and signed partner agreement related to the project: LNG in the Baltic Sea Ports (LNG Ports in the Baltic Sea). The project, co-financed by the EU TEN-T Multi-Annual Program, involves ports from Denmark, Latvia, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Poland.
The study, which was selected for funding under the 2011 TEN-T Multi-Annual Call, will focus on developing a more standardised approach by the participating ports for planning and constructing LNG infrastructure. LNG is rapidly emerging as a more environmentally friendly fuel for the maritime sector and its uptake is encouraged by the European Union.
The project was initiated by the Baltic Ports Organization (BPO) in response to the new rules in Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) covering the Baltic Sea, North Sea and English Channel. Allowable sulphur content decreases from 1.0% to 0.1% as of 1 January 2015.
The works in the ports focus on pre-investment studies such as environmental impact assessment, feasibility studies for LNG terminals or bunkering vessels, project designs, regional market studies and safety manuals. TEN-T says the studies will pave the way for future infrastructure investments, in particular, the development of port infrastructure to offer LNG bunkering for LNG-powered shipping.
To secure the transition from traditionally fuelled engines, ship-owners and their operators needs to be assured on LNG availability. A harmonised development of LNG bunker filling infrastructure will reduce installation costs and also build up knowledge and “know-how” to serve as reference for others ports, not just for standards but also for equipment, costs, labour etc. One project output is to produce an LNG Guidebook containing the best practices and recommendations on how to develop LNG infrastructure in the ports.
TEN-T Executive Agency will finance almost EUR 2.5 million (USD 3.15 million) toward the total cost of the project, set at approximately EUR 4.9 million (USD 6 million).
The completion date of the project is 31 December 2014.
(This article primarily compiled using information from Port of Tallinn and TEN-T press releases)