The second CORE LNGas hive project conference for the promotion of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a fuel in the transport sector took place today in Silleda, within the framework of the Galicia Energy Exhibition – Feria de la Energía de Galicia. The event was officially opened by the President of the Spanish Ports Authority, José Llorca, the Director General for Energy and Mines of the Government of Galicia, Ángel Bernardo Tahoces; the Gas Assets General Manager for Enagás, Claudio Rodríguez; and the General Manager of Reganosa, Emilio Bruquetas.
The aim of the conference was to reveal the status of the project and the commitment of the European Commission and the Spanish Government to promote decarbonisation of the transport sector, especially maritime transport.
The Chairman of President of the Spanish Ports Authority, José Llorca, pointed out that the CORE LNGas hive “is a project of national significance”, and therefore a cooperative project in which all partners actively participate. “In the field of international maritime transport, Spain lies on the main sea lanes and in a privileged position for supplying ships with LNG,” he said, because it is the leading country in Europe in infrastructure. Llorca announced the forthcoming publication of a royal decree on tolls for the transfer of LNG to ships, highly penalised at present, which will include a third level for supplies of less than 5,000 m3. This is essential in order to make Spain an LNG hub. Progress is being made with regard to other regulatory aspects in order to make this supply a basic port service.
The Director General for Energy and Mines of the Government of Galicia, Ángel Bernardo Tahoces, for whom “LNG will be the transition fuel to renewables, not only in the field of transport”, stressed the need to establish the regulations for supply ships and the way to implement LNG in short sea shipping and the fishing fleet, and concluded that “we all have to spare no effort so that this project becomes a reality as soon as possible”.
In words of the Gas Assets General Manager for Enagás, Claudio Rodríguez, “The Spanish gas system has spent close to 50 years innovating in logistical alternatives that today, through the CORE LNGas hive project, allow us to showcase an experience that we have turned into an opportunity to develop sustainable solutions for more competitive and efficient maritime transport that is respectful of air quality.”
According to the General Manager of Reganosa, Emilio Bruquetas, “There is a need to materialise all the plans contained in the CORE LNGas hive project so that Spain will become an engine for change for maritime transport fuel. The sea cannot be overlooked at this time of energy transition, and we must offer ship owners efficient infrastructure to guarantee the availability of LNG at ports. This project is a very important step; it has shown us the way, but it is only the beginning.”
Monika Zsigri, representative of the European Commision’s Directorate-General for Energy, highlighted that the promotion being given to alternative zero or low-emission fuels can play an important part in the transition towards sustainable, low-emission energy. “We want to guarantee a stable and secure supply.”
José Enrique Murcia, chief project engineer, presented an update of the progress made by the members of the project in 25 studies targeted at adapting infrastructure and the development of logistic and commercial facilities to provide small-scale services (storage) and bunkering (LNG supply as fuel for ships).
Following him, Carlos Vales, director of the Reganosa Hub project explained the specific aspects of the North-West Iberian Hub, including the existing plans to equip the Mugardos terminal with a new storage tank and jetty, in addition to adapting the existing jetty to small-scale traffic, in order to serve the future demand arising from sustainable shipping. The North-West Iberian Hub project, in which the Government of Galicia, the University of Santiago de Compostela, the Ferrol Port Authority, Navantia and Reganosa are participating, came about through the willingness to take full advantage of the conditions offered by Galicia, owing to its geostrategic position, shipbuilding industry and sizeable fishing fleet, and the region’s port and gas infrastructure.
To finalise the event, a round table discussion was held, focused on the implementation of LNG as a maritime fuel, where it was presented as the most economically and environmentally efficient substitute for the fuels currently used in shipping. The discussion presented the perspectives of shipbuilders, ship owners, shippers, certification agencies and government institutions. The Director General for Fishing, Aquaculture and Technological Innovation of the Government of Galicia, Mercedes Rodríguez Moreda, explained the assistance offered by the government for the incorporation of LNG as a fuel, demand for which is growing in the current context of emissions reduction. The Secretary General of the Marine Department of the Government of Galicia, María Isabel Concheiro, was entrusted with closing the event.
The conference took place at the Galicia Energy Exhibition – Feria de la Energía de Galicia and was attended by the five Galician partners taking part in the CORE LNGas hive project, the Energy Institute of Galicia (Inega), the port authorities of Ferrol and Vigo, the University of Santiago de Compostela, and Reganosa, organiser of the event.
About the CORE LNGas hive project
The aim of the project is to create a safe, efficient and integrated logistics and supply chain for LNG as a fuel in the transport sector, particularly for maritime transport, in the Iberian Peninsula. Led by the Spanish Ports Authority and coordinated by Enagás, the CORE LNGas hive project has a total of 42 partners from Spain and Portugal: 8 institutional partners, 13 port authorities and 21 industrial partners, LNG operators, shipbuilders, regasification companies and other companies.
LNG is one of the most environmentally friendly fuels. Compared to other conventional fuels, it completely eliminates sulphur oxide (SOx) and particle emissions (PM), and substantially reduces nitrogen oxides (NOx), which helps to comply with the increasingly strict environmental standards in the maritime sector and to advance in the process of decarbonisation of the Mediterranean and Atlantic corridors, in line with the European Union strategy on alternative fuel infrastructures (Clean Power for Transport).