Poseidon Med II lays foundations for sustainable supply chain in Eastern Mediterranean

The Poseidon Med II Stakeholders’ Conference 2021 “Poseidon Med II brings into reality sustainable shipping to the Eastern Mediterranean” was successfully organized as a virtual event on Thursday, December 9, 2021. The Conference marked the official closing of the EU co-funded Poseidon Med II Action, which started in June 2015 and will end in December 2021.

Mr Konstantinos Skrekas, Minister for the Environment and Energy of Greece, opened the Conference and  noted the importance of LNG as a transition fuel for the green transformation of the shipping industry; Mr Ioannis Efstratiou, Director, Safety & Environmental Protection Directorate, representing the Cypriot Deputy Minister for Shipping, Mr V. Demetriades, stressed that a major advantages of adopting LNG as a marine fuel is its abundant availability which makes it a sound option for the transition towards Europe’s net zero future. Mr Giannis Papadopoulos, Chairman of the BoD, DEPA Commercial S.A., highlighted that LNG is indeed an intelligent, flexible and viable business solution with which the shipping industry can address the challenge to decarbonize He then made reference to the development of Greece’s first LNG bunkering vessel by DEPA COMMERCIAL with a capacity of of 4,000 m3 that will be used to supply ships in the port of Piraeus as well as in other ports in Greece and at the Region. For Mr J. Chomatas, Asset Development Division Director, DESFA SA – Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator, the new SSLNG facilities that will be accommodating bunker and feeder vessels is due to the contribution of PM II marking an important achievement. . Concluding the opening statements, Mr. Siamak Jalali, from the office of the EU’s Coordinator for the “Motorways of the Sea” noted that the goal for 2050 is to make Europe a modern resource efficient and competitive economy with the maritime being a crucial sector as 80% of the goods are transported by sea.

On behalf of the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), Mrs Katerina Chrysostomou, PMEDII Project Officer, congratulated all the PMII Partners for completing the foreseen actions and for contributing to the realization of LNG bunkering operations in Greece, Cyprus and Italy.

Mr George Polychroniou, Poseidon Med II Project Manager, Executive Director, Strategy and Business Development, DEPA Commercial S.A. noted the importance of PMII for the decarbonization of the maritime sector and its particular significance for the region and Greece.

During the first session of the Conference entitled “Mapping the Achievements of Poseidon Med II” the results of the Action were presented by various partners, notably: Mrs Efstathia Niarchou, Project Manager of Poseidon Med II Action, DESFA, Dr. Christos Solomonidis, Partner, Chairman of the BoD, Rogan Associates S.A., Mrs Anna Apostolopoulou, Offshore Manager Gr/Cy/Isr, EU Projects Leader SEUR/Lloyd’s Register, Dr. Davide Calderan, President, Rimorchiatori Riuniti Panfido & C. Srl , Mr Giannis Gkabrias, Market Research and Development, Ocean Finance. ,

The speakers agreed that the main goals of PM II have been achieved and the foundations for a sustainable and effective supply chain in the Eastern Mediterranean have been established. Moreover, the necessary studies for this as well as for the adoption of LNG as a marine fuel were carried out from a technical, economic and regulatory perspective. Namely PM II has contributed to the preparation of a regulatory framework with particular emphasis on safety aspects regarding LNG bunkering operations at Greek Ports, leading to the enactment of legislation (Presidential Decree 64/2019) With regard to ports, Piraeus, Patras, Heraklion, Igoumenitsa and Limassol, PMII financed the design studies for the development of small-scale LNG infrastructures (ssLNG) to enable the provision of bunkering services. Moreover, studies completed by PMII are enabling the construction of a truck loading station, for bunkering and off grid consumers’ supply as well as a ssLNG jetty that will accommodate vessels from 1.000 m3 to 28.000m.

At the second session entitled “LNG, a great opportunity for Shipping in the Eastern Mediterranean” experts discussed the increasing use of LNG as a shipping fuel both in Europe and worldwide; Participants included Mr Steve Esau, General Manager, SEA LNG, Mr Panayiotis Mitrou, Global Gas Technology Segment Manager, Lloyd’s Register, Dr. George A. Kriezis, Technical Manager, Neptune Lines Shipping and Managing Enterprises S.A., Dr. Nikolaos Liapis, Member the Board of Directors, Hellenic Shortsea Shipowners Association and Mr Dimitris Spyrou, Consultant, Strategic Planning and Marketing Department, Piraeus Port Authority S.A.

It was concluded that LNG will have a decisive role during the transition to a sustainable maritime transportation. Moreover, synthetic and bio-LNG, that can  be used with the same infrastructure as for LNG, are compatible with the EU’s zero-carbon goals and will contribute to the decarbonization of the maritime sector Finally participants stressed the emerging role of Greece as an international LNG bunkering and distribution hub for the broader region.

Poseidon Med II project is a practical roadmap which aims to bring about the wide adoption of LNG as a safe, environmentally efficient and viable alternative fuel for shipping and help the East Mediterranean marine transportation propel towards a low-carbon future. The project, which is co-funded by the European Union, involves three countries Greece, Italy and Cyprus, six European ports (Piraeus, Patras, Lemesos, Venice, Heraklion, Igoumenitsa) as well as the Revithoussa LNG terminal. The project brings together top experts from the marine, energy and financial sectors to design an integrated LNG value chain and establish a well-functioning and sustainable LNG market.

Poseidon Med II virtual Conference 2021 was moderated by journalist Harris Floudopoulos,