20 May 2018
CORE LNGas hive: Innovation and challenges in small scale and LNG bunkering in South-West Europe


Spring 2017

The Spanish company, Enagás, is the coordinator of CORE LNGas hive project, co-financed by the European Commission, with the leadership of Puertos del Estado, it involves 42 partners from Spain and Portugal: 8 state-owned institutions; 13 port authorities; and 21 industrial companies such as ship owners, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) operators and suppliers of different services in the value chain. The total budget of the project is €33.3 M and its execution is planned to last until 2020.

The aim is to develop a logistics and supply chain for LNG that will allow it to be used as a transport fuel, particularly for maritime transport. Fostering the use of LNG in the Iberian Peninsula as the project will contribute to the decarbonisation of the European Mediterranean and Atlantic corridors. The Iberian Peninsula is geostrategically located and has key gas infrastructure with which to consolidate its position as the European leader in this field.

LNG is the most environmentally friendly fuel, given that it generates about 30% fewer emissions of CO2 than oil. Moreover, it reduces emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx), particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), which will allow complying with increasingly tight environmental regulation demanded by the International Maritime Organization and the European Union, particularly improving the air quality of port environments.

The project aim to accomplish two specific objectives: one already done, the contribution to the National Policy Framework fulfilling the requirements of the directive 2014/94/EU on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure (Clean Power for Transport); and the other, to provide a roadmap and investment plan to scale up the results, in order to reach a larger commercial roll out of LNG infrastructure and equipment for maritime transport and port services.

CORE LNGas hive involves 14 studies and 11 studies with integrated pilot. The first ones are being considered the "software" of the project. They will allow, for example, identifying the standards needed to develop LNG as a fuel. They include:

  • The prediction on the demand of LNG as a marine fuel both in Portugal and Spain, including and special study for the Gibraltar Strait since it is one of the most important bunker areas in the world.
  • The identification of safety, environmental and technical national standards in order to assure an adequate frame in LNG bunkering operations, supported by the experience of Enagás. Taking into account the regulation that is being developed by international organizations, the project will go further, giving right inputs to the national regulators.
  • The deployment of different kind of actions aiming to improve LNG social perception.
  • The identification of the training needs in the whole logistic chain, and the definition of the training actions and accreditation processes. Training is vital in LNG as a new alternative fuel, to assure safety and security in operations. A whole structure needs to be defined, and the project helps the national regulators to construct it.

Regarding the studies with integrated pilots, known as the "hardware" of the project, they will test real parts of the LNG logistic chain, including the adaptation of LNG Terminals, and the:

  • Development of the logistic chain, including the retrofitting of two bunker barges in order to supply LNG as marine fuel. Moreover, the project develops a pilot to test the multimodal transportation of LNG, by means of an ISO container, since it is necessary to increase the capillarity of the logistic chain and this solution can provide huge benefits.
  • The use of LNG within the port environment. For example, it will perform the retrofitting of a straddle carrier (to move containers around the terminals) or the construction of a tugboat powered by LNG.

Note that in addition, the project will include in this "pilot testing" a real tank-to-wheel analysis that should confirm the better position of this alternative fuel with respect to others.

We believe that natural gas is the fuel of the future of transportation. Especially in maritime transportation, LNG is a down-to-earth alternative fuel to oil that also allows to comply with emissions regulations with the potential to produce saving to ship owners.

Contact details:
For further information, please visit www.corelngashive.eu
Email: info@corelngashive.eu