Photo: Courtesy of PGNiG

PGNiG, LOTOS complete first LNG bunkering in Szczecin

The Polish pair of PGNiG Obrót Detaliczny and LOTOS Asfalt have expanded their scope of cooperation with an LNG bunkering operation in Szczecin.

PGNiG, LOTOS complete first LNG bunkering in Szczecin
Courtesy of PGNiG

Carrier oud on Thursday, November 5, it was the first bunkering of a ship with liquefied natural gas (LNG) at a port supervised by the Maritime Authority of Szczecin.

The cooperation aims to strengthen the role of Polish ports and promote LNG fuel in the Baltic Sea.

‘We have carried out tens of LNG bunkering, or refueling, operations with Grupa LOTOS so far. We are pleased that the service is gaining popularity and that it can now be provided in other Polish ports besides Gdańsk and Gdynia. We believe that LNG fuel is the future of maritime transport in the Baltic Sea,’ said Jarosław Wróbel, acting president of the PGNiG management board.

“Energy transition motivates us to step up our efforts in the field of alternative fuels. One of our development directions is LNG”, explains Paweł Jan Majewski, president of the Grupa LOTOS.

He noted that in order to promote this market segment, the development of logistics and LNG bunkering infrastructure is needed.

Grupa LOTOS is analyzing various projects in this area. The company has recently completed a feasibility study for a project to build a small-scale LNG transshipment terminal in Gdańsk, which has already entered the internal corporate decision-making stage, Majewski said.

The LNG bunkering operation was performed at the wharf of the Port of Szczecin with the use of cryogenic LNG tankers. The LNG fuel was pumped into the tanks of the ship Scheldt River, which is working to deepen the Świnoujście-Szczecin waterway to enable Szczecin to accommodate vessels twice the size of the ships that currently call at the port.

Worth over PLN 1.44 billion ($376.7 million) this strategic project is funded from the Cohesion Fund and the state budget.

Grupa LOTOS and PGNiG have worked together on LNG projects for several years now. Also, PGNiG supplies Grupa LOTOS with natural gas, which is used in petroleum refining processes.

“We can see demand for bunkering services from shipowners at Polish ports grow, driven by a rising awareness that LNG, as an alternative marine fuel, is the sole mature solution that is capable of meeting the existing and future emission standards while being economically viable,” noted Henryk Mucha, president of the PGNiG Obrót Detaliczny.

“LNG bunkering services naturally complement the range of low-sulphur marine fuels offered by LOTOS Asfalt to its customers. Shipowners are increasingly adding dual-fuel vessels to their fleets, and our goal as a supplier is to provide them with a complete range of bunkering services. Our collaboration with PGNiG in the field of LNG is beneficial to both companies. We believe it has potential for further development considering the emission reduction regulations implemented globally,” added Cezary Godziuk, president of the LOTOS Asfalt.

The increasingly widespread use of LNG in the coming years will be driven by a number of factors, including the Sulphur Directive, which means that standards applied in Central and Eastern Europe are more stringent than in other parts of the world.

The Sulphur Directive requires shipowners whose vessels sail in Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECAs), e.g. the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, to use fuels with a sulphur content of less than 0.1 per cent.