Slovenian Port of Koper Considers LNG Bunkering

| Slovenia, Koper

Slovenia's Luka KoperWithin the framework of Directive 2014/94/EU on deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure, the Slovenian Port of Koper as a Core EU port, is contemplating how it might best provide support for vessels requiring Liquefied Natural Gas as fuel. The Directive was adopted with the aim of minimising dependence on oil and to mitigate the environmental impact of transport. 

Through the Directive the European Union requested Member States to draft national policy frameworks on alternative fuels, among which also liquefied natural gas (LNG) is listed. Member States shall also ensure that an appropriate number of refuelling points for LNG are put in maritime ports to enable ships to circulate throughout the TEN-T Core Network by the end of 2025.

Slovenia’s national plan for comprehensive spatial arrangement of the international port in Koper doesn’t foresee the existence of fixed infrastructure for LNG, nevertheless since the Port of Koper is among Core EU ports, it has to guarantee support to LNG powered vessels.

To study adequately the field in cooperation with institutions that have experience with LNG, the port and logistics company joined the Action GAINN4MOS, which is co-financed by the European Union through the Connecting Europe Facility. Last week, a presentation of LNG-related studies developed under the GAINN4MOS Action took place at the port’s premises in Koper.  Included was information about the various systems and technologies associated with LNG bunkering

Goran Matešič, energy manager at Luki Koper, pointed out that the company is open to study any alternative. He is sure that the outcomes of the studies carried out as part of the GAINN4MOS Action will help also in the preparation of the national framework policy on alternative fuels.

The Port is hampered by space limitations and is also not favoured at present as a port for bunkering, vessels preferring the northern Adriatic ports. Nevertheless planning for an LNG refuelling facility will require careful risk analysis and will likely lead to the adoption of specialized feeder vessels and the most suitable bunkering method.

Andrej Stušek, director of ENOS LNG d.o.o. discussed the potential use of LNG as fuel for port handling equipment – in particular for yard tractors and reach stackers. Štušek discouraged any retrofitting activity, reasoning that reliability and safety are of core importance for port operations.

(Source: Luka Koper (Port of Koper))

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