Blue Baltics roll out
Publication date: 2017-03-23
Project partners of the EU co-financed Blue Baltics initiative met for the first time in Klaipeda, discussing LNG infrastructure synchronisation across the Baltic Sea region.
The EUR 47.6 mln project, aided by the Motorways of the Sea programme with nearly EUR 15.05 mln (50% for studies, 30% for works), aims at the promotion of sustainable shipping by means of developing and establishing an LNG bunkering network in the Baltic Sea and corresponding European regions.
As such, the Blue Baltics project will target the currently under construction LNG reloading station add-on to Klaipeda's large-scale floating terminal as the core axis of the future region-wide value chain, LNG-linking the EU Member States of Lithuania, Sweden, Germany, and Estonia. Klaipedos nafta, Blue Baltics' project coordinator, plans to put into operation the LNG reloading station by the end of this year's summer.
According to the project's page on the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency's website, other actions will include purchasing 14 LNG containers, one mobile LNG/CNG filling station, and a LNG/CNG pumping station to serve customers in Estonia, enabling bunkering of cargo vessels and ferries in the ports of Tallinn and Pärnu, as well as in other harbours, along with provision of CNG for urban transportation. Within the Nynäshamn LNG terminal, investments will be conducted to establish reloading and bunkering facilities, making it possible to distribute LNG along the Swedish shores as well as to neighbouring regions.
"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 our company 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," Marius Pulkauninkas, Klaip?dos nafta's acting CEO, said.
Brian Simpson, European Coordinator for the Motorways of the Sea who attended the project's meeting, added, "I am convinced that the project will contribute to the implementation of the SECA and MARPOL regulations. It funds the development of an LNG bunkering network in the 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."
"We are deeply proud of our seaport companies which contribute to growing competitiveness of the Port of Klaipeda on a continuous basis. We welcome and join the project implemented by Klaipedos nafta, the LNG distribution station. This project will create prerequisites not only for more effective use of the LNG terminal's capacities, but also for significant improvement in the attractiveness of our seaport and creation of more favourable conditions for LNG shipping development," Art?ras Drungilas, Klaipeda State Seaport Authority's Director for Marketing and General Affairs, summed up.
The Blue Baltics project formally kicked off in March 2016, and will last till June 2019.