First LNG bunkering operations at Polish ports
An operation of commercial bunkering with eco-friendly LNG fuel was carried out at the Tri-City ports. Vessels with the "fuel of the future" called at Gdynia and Gdansk last week. These were the first operations of this type in Poland.
LNG bunkering in Poland has become a fact. At both the Tri-City ports, a total of 72 tonnes of LNG fuel (42,800 Nm3) were pumped into the tanks of the "Fure Valo" and "Ireland" ships from four tank trucks.
The opportunity to bunker ships with one of the cleanest types of fuel available in the market makes the ports of Gdynia and Gdansk another two "green ports" in the core TEN-T network. According to the directive on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure, seaports in Poland are required to provide this type of service by the end of 2025 at the latest.
"Our experts attended several dozen meetings, workshops, and conferences during which they shared their knowledge on LNG. Their professionalism, engagement, and factual input contributed to the establishment of regulations and procedures others can use today," comments Adam Meller, President of the Board of the Port of Gdynia Authority.
"Polish ports are in their heyday at the moment. We are implementing huge investment programmes, winning new contracts. We are doing it all, firstly, in order to meet the current market needs, and secondly, to prepare for what the future may bring. One of the elements of this future are vessels fuelled by liquefied natural gas," explains Lukasz Greinke, President of the Board of the Port of Gdansk Authority.
Both ports have been preparing for the possibility of fuelling vessels with LNG for a long time. They have been carrying out rescue and fire-fighting drills and developing procedures and regulations, which made it possible to carry out the bunkering operations this month.
By implementing the LNG bunkering service, the Tri-City ports respond to the needs of the market which, due to restrictions resulting from emission standards, is rapidly changing the technologies used in sea transport. As an eco-friendly fuel, during the combustion process, LNG emits fewer pollutants into the atmosphere than e.g. coal. Another advantage of LNG is the possibility of liquefying natural gas into LNG, as a result of which its volume decreases about 600 times, which leads to lowered storage and transport costs.
Ships fuelled by LNG leave shipyards more and more often, which poses a serious challenge to ports in terms of handling these vessels. Currently, the Tri-City ports offer tank truck-to-ship LNG bunkering. In the future, an alternative solution will become available in the form of a mobile bunkering point using the ship-to-ship technology.
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