On 14 March, the ‘Blue Baltics’ project partners met for the first time in Klaipėda and discussed the infrastructure synchronisation of the Baltic Sea Region liquefied natural gas (LNG), perspectives, project progress. The European Coordinator for the Motorways of the Sea (MoS) Brian Simpson introduced the financial possibilities for the transport sector in the framework MoS programme, focusing on LNG bunkering.
The LNG reloading station under the construction by the appointed coordinator of the project “Blue Baltics” KN (Klaipėdos Nafta, AB) becomes the core axis of the LNG value chain. Klaipėda is expected to become the LNG hub interconnecting four states of the Baltic Sea Region into a single value chain.
‘After meeting the partners, the progress achieved in the projects implemented by every country is evident, and this LNG infrastructure network is planned to become fully active by mid-2019. The purpose pursued by the investments into the ‘Blue Baltics’ project includes better effectiveness of the transport sector, integration of services and development of a cost-effective LNG logistic chain. The goal of KN is operation of the LNG reloading station, same as the big LNG terminal by the principle of third party access and availability of its services to the optimum number of clients’,- commented Marius Pulkauninkas, acting CEO of Klaipėdos Nafta, AB.
The implementation of the LNG reloading station project is financed from the company’s own and borrowed funds and EU support. Once the station is launched, LNG terminal maintenance costs can be reduced in the cases when LNG for the reloading station will be imported through the big terminal. The station is planned to be put into operation in the end of summer 2017.
The ‘Blue Baltics’ project focuses the investments into the LNG infrastructure development by promoting sustained system of transport by sea and land and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. This project refers to the successful experience of the previous projects, such as KN controlled LNG terminal, AGA AB controlled small-scale Nynäshamn (Sweden) LNG terminal, also by including other partners: German Bernhard Schulte GmbH & Co., KG, which is implementing the LNG transport ship project, Estonian Alexela Energia AS, which is planning to develop the chain of LNG filling stations for public, commercial, sea transport and outermost consumers from the gas network, and Klaipėda State Seaport Authority, which is partly implementing the works of adaptation of the KN operated jetty to LNG loading.
‘I am convinced that the project will contribute to the implementation of the SECA (Sulphur Emission Control Areas) and MARPOL (International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships) regulations. It funds the development of a LNG bunkering network in the sea ports of the Baltic Sea and I hope that it will be a starting point for a more robust exploitation of LNG vessels in key Baltic bunkering locations. Specifically in the Lithuanian context , the project has a potential to turn Klaipeda into a fully-fledged LNG hub serving as gateway for the LNG supply chain in heavily trafficked but environmentally clean the Baltic Sea Region’, noted Brian Simpson.
The support of approximately EUR 3,19 million (USD 3.33m) is allocated in the ‘Blue Baltics’ financing programme for the KNLNG reloading station. The total investment into five projects amounts to EUR 47,6 million (USD >50m), the funds allocated under the MoS programme amount to EUR 15 million.
Three LNG tanks are being shipped to the Port of Klaipėda from the Czech Republic with two more to follow. The 1,000m3 tanks, weighing 223 t and measuring 50.3 m long, 5.8 m high and 6.03 m wide, were brought from the factory of Chart Ferox, a.s., via a special transportation barge along the river Elbe to the port of Hamburg (Germany) before loading onto a cargo ship for transsshipment to Klaipėda.