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Malta starts planning for LNG as a maritime fuel

Date: 16/11/2017

€600,000 EU-funded bunkering study to begin next month

The Energy and Water Agency has been handed a €600,000 EU grant to look into the potential of developing LNG as a marine fuel in Malta.

With a starting date scheduled for next month, the technical study into LNG bunkering is expected to facilitate the government's plans of setting up a national policy in the field, following a 2014 EU Directive which gives Member States until 2025 to develop LNG refuelling infrastructure at maritime ports.

It will identify the optimal offshore, outside port infrastructure solutions for the development of maritime LNG bunkering in Malta considering the future market demand, attractiveness, economic, environmental, geographical, safety and risk aspects including possible synergies with the planned Malta-Italy gas pipeline interconnector.

The €600,000 awarded is the maximum available under the Connecting Europe Facility programme, which put up €40 million to support synergy actions between the transport and energy sectors to increase sustainability.

Tractebel Engineering S.p.A. will take charge of the study after winning a public call for tenders, with the EWA and Transport Malta overseeing the project.

LNG emissions are far lower than those from traditional fossil fuels, and with both the EU and the International Maritime Organization adopting stricter controls on maritime fuel emissions, there is an expectation that maritime shipping will rapidly adopt LNG as the fuel of choice in years to come.

“We’re going to see over time shipyards will have to become proponents of cleaner fuels because there are only so much efficiency gains you can get by making the ship more hydrodynamic and engines more efficient,” shipping executive Angus Campbell told Reuters yesterday.

Source: Times of Malta

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