Gas utility DEPA, gas grid operator DESFA and the Port Authority of Patras (PPA) have signed a memorandum of understanding, its objective being to promote the use of LNG as marine fuel, given the new opportunities and development prospects for the Port of Patras and the wider region, the three partners have announced in a joint statement.
In particular, the memorandum provisions to jointly explore the LNG market growth capacity in terms of the use of LNG as a marine fuel in Patras, as well as to study all the required actions and the business cooperation framework for the construction of small-scale LNG facilities, as stipulated in the Port of Patras’ master plan, the statement noted.
Furthermore, the three parties agreed to promptly establish a joint task force for the implementation of the MoU and the completion of the required studies so as to:
- a) explore the feasibility and the conditions for the construction of small-scale LNG facilities
- b) the formulation and submission of the proposal regarding the facilities’ construction financing by European or national resources and
- c) the determination of the terms and scheme of a potential cooperation of the companies from a legal and business standpoint, for the promotion of the project.
For its part, PPA will train the Port’s personnel that will support LNG supply procedures and will adapt the Port Regulation so as to include the supply of ships with LNG.
The signing of the MoU is the first step towards the implementation of LNG bunkering at the Port of Patras, expecting to add value to the Port, as it will enhance its competitiveness in the wider Adriatic and Ionian region. At the same time, it will have a positive impact on the environment through the use of LNG as marine fuel.
The use of LNG as a marine fuel has multiple social, economic and environmental benefits, such as the creation of new employment opportunities, reduced public health damage – caused by ship emissions in urban centers near ports and coastal areas – the upgrade of the natural environment by reducing emissions and noise pollution, as well as further development of local economies through the dynamics resulting from using LNG.
Compared to conventional marine fuels, LNG contributes to the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and suspended particulate matter (PM).
It is noted that the Port’s master plan was updated in terms of small-scale LNG facilities under the co-financed by the European Union program Poseidon Μed ΙΙ (PMII), which is a practical roadmap towards the wide adoption of LNG as a safe, environmentally efficient and viable alternative fuel for shipping, helping East Mediterranean marine transportation propel towards a low-carbon future. DEPA is the coordinator of the Poseidon Med II program, DESFA is the technical coordinator and Patras Port Authority one of the main partners.
On the occasion of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, the CEO of DEPA, Konstantinos Xifaras, stated:
“DEPA is one of the key LNG suppliers in Greece, with great experience in related activities. In addition, as the coordinator of the European programs POSEIDON MED II and BlueHUBS, our company decisively contributes to the development of a comprehensive LNG supply chain for shipping and ports in the Eastern Mediterranean. In this context, DEPA is proceeding with the construction of a new LNG bunkering vessel for maritime use and the acquisition of two LNG Tanker Trucks that will serve the port of Piraeus. With this MoU, we join forces with DESFA and PPA to develop LNG facilities in the port of Patras, supplying the ships of the wider area with an environmentally friendly and, at the same time, competitive fuel as required by the EU’s and International Maritime Organization’s latest directives”.
For his part, the CEO of DESFA, Nicola Battilana, stated:
“Infrastructure is a key condition for the development of the regional and national economy. DESFA, as the Operator of the National Natural Gas System, is a strong supporter of any cooperation that contributes to the sustainable development of energy infrastructure. This MoU paves the way for examining the feasibility and the conditions for the construction of small-scale LNG facilities in one of the country’s main ports, while bringing Greece one step closer to developing a core LNG refueling network in maritime and inland ports by the end of 2025 and 2030, respectively, as defined by the DAFI Directive. Having as an ally sustainable development, the port of Patras strengthens its competitiveness to other ports in the Adriatic and Ionian region, while boosting local job openings and improving the environmental conditions of the city of Patras”.
The CEO of PPA Panagiotis Tsonis stated:
“Today is a great day for the Port of Patras. With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, we are taking an important step towards making our Port more modern and more competitive domestically and internationally. I want to thank the Management of DEPA and DESFA for the cooperation and I am confident that we will enter the implementation stage”.
Photo (left to right): Nicola Battilana – CEO DESFA, Konstantinos Xifaras– CEO DEPA, Panagiotis Tsonis- CEO PPA