The first bunkering of a ship with liquefied natural gas (LNG) took place at a port supervised by the Maritime Authority of the Polish town of Szczecin. With the bunkering operation, Poland’s oil and gas company PGNiG and Grupa LOTOS have expanded the scope of their cooperation, which helps to strengthen the role of Polish ports and promotes LNG fuel in the Baltic Sea.
“We have carried out tens of LNG bunkering, or refuelling, operations with Grupa LOTOS so far,” explained Jarosław Wróbel, acting President of the PGNiG Management Board. “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.”
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 złoty (320.7 million euros), this strategic project is funded from the Cohesion Fund and the state budget.
“Energy transition motivates us to step up our efforts in the field of alternative fuels,” added Paweł Jan Majewski, President of the Grupa LOTOS Management Board. “One of our development directions is LNG, a green and safe fuel. In order to promote this market segment, we need to develop logistics and LNG bunkering infrastructure.”
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.
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), including the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, to use fuels with a sulphur content of less than 0.1 per cent.