Malta kicks off study into LNG bunkering potential

Malta’s Energy and Water Agency kicked off a technical study and the cost-benefit analysis for the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel. 

The Southern European island country has traditionally depended heavily on shipping for foreign trade, also acting as a connection point stationed in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.

In response to its fuel oil bunkering market and EU’s directive to develop an LNG refueling infrastructure, the government decided to investigate the potential of the chilled gas as a marine fuel.

The Energy and Water Agency with the support of Transport Malta, Engie’s engineering consultancy unit Tractebel, and the LNG terminal operator Elengy, kicked off a study to identify optimal infrastructure solutions for LNG bunkering for the island.

The study shall be co-financed by the EU under the Connecting Europe Facility Synergy programme.

The overall objective of the study is to analyze the feasibility of introducing LNG bunkering infrastructure, taking into account the economic and environmental aspect, market demand, geographical properties, risk and safety features and the overall attractiveness of the project. The study will also look into alternatives, basing results on the socio-economic cost-benefit analysis and risk assessments.

Finally, the study will also aim at filling legislative gaps within the sector and providing necessary training for the implementation and operation of such infrastructure.

The outcome of this study shall facilitate the Malta’s task in setting up a national policy in this field, with the ultimate aim being to stimulate LNG uptake as a marine fuel and to attract potential investors in this sector.

The first results from the study are expected to be published by the end of 2018.

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