Program Seeks to Expand LNG Supply Chain in Mediterranean Ports
In an effort to expand the supply of LNG at regional ports in the Mediterranean, Black, and Caspian seas, the European Maritime Safety Agency has awarded a framework contract to the classification society RINA designed to expand LNG bunkering and storage. The project is aimed at reducing environmental impact by making LNG more widely available for a variety of uses including ferries, cruise ships, and tourist activities, as well as promoting the LNG road supply chain.
According to EMSA and RINA, having a common methodology and framework will give nations, where there is a gap in LNG infrastructure, access to a high standard of qualified guidance, regulatory compliance, and safety. Increasing the number of ports with LNG refueling capability will help support the wider adoption of LNG as a maritime fuel and to meet MARPOL regulations.
“LNG is an important fuel on our way to decarbonization,” said Angelo Lo Nigro, Energy Engineering Solutions Senior Director at RINA. “The services we will be providing as part of the framework agreement with EMSA will help make LNG storage and bunkering available in port areas and will also bring consistency and guidance for economically developing nations that do not yet have strong experience with small scale LNG.”
RINA will provide a flexible selection of services dealing with safety and feasibility to match the needs in different locations. The services provided will help port authorities determine which locations are feasible, both in terms of safety and technical and financial viability, to install small-scale LNG bunkering or depot facilities. RINA will provide a total of eight different services, from which each port authority can choose according to its goals. The activities include gap analysis of regulatory frame and evaluation of applicable standards, feasibility study, definition of risk acceptance criteria, site analysis, nautical analysis, hazard identification, quantitative risk assessment, and ship collision risk study.
“This contract will reduce the capacity gap between countries and ensure a coherent, effective, and uniform implementation of the international rules for maritime safety, security, and prevention of pollution from ships in the Mediterranean, Black, and Caspian seas,” explained Lo Nigro.
The framework contract will run for four years and currently covers 22 countries in the region. EMSA may also add other countries during the period of the agreement.