Qatar Eyes EU LNG Merchant Shipping Market Via Greece
The EU is setting in motion its project of providing incentives and provisions for the shipping fleets of its member states to run on LNG from 2025 onwards.
27 April 2014 - 11:37
This signals great growth of the gas commodity and already major players such as Qatar are moving forward into acquiring positions and making deals, by starting off from Greece which boasts the largest commercial marine fleet in the world.
Greece's Ministry of Maritime Affairs has already assured local ship owners that the transformation of their engine fuel that comes with a significant cost can be initially subsidized from available EU funds during the course of the next decade.
Furthermore, at a recent visit in Athens the Chief Financial Officer of Qatar Petroleum International (QPI) relayed to his counterparts in the Greek corporate world that his company is eager into expand LNG trading in the country, aiming specifically for the maritime market. €58 million has already been invested to acquire 25% of a natural gas power plant in the country, the result of a partnership between GEK-TERNA and GDF Suez.
From a governmental level, incumbent Maritime Affairs Minister Ioannis Varvitsiotis is pushing forward for the introduction of LNG as the prime fuel for vessels, betting on overall massive investments that Greek ship owners have made over the past few years into securing key positions in the international LNG trade by investing more than €10 billion in newly built LNG carriers.
In order for the project to run QPI suggests that LNG bunkering stations are needed across the country with a push forward of plans to construct a second LNG terminal. Meanwhile, DEPA is already placing as a priority its €350 million plan for a floating LNG terminal in the Kavala region in Northern Greece, strategically located in the axis of the TAP route from Turkey to Albania and Italy.
Also, Golar LNG company executives, which belongs to the Norwegian shipping magnate John Fredriksen, met with the Greek Energy Minister Ioannis Maniatis, and expressed a preliminary interest into partnering with DEPA in its project. Thus the LNG market seems to be moving dynamically and into two different segments: One is the transformation of the marine fleet into LNG run and the second into boosting supplies to the Greek and regional transmission system by LNG type gas. In the first case it is estimated that the cost of fuel will decrease by 50% for companies running on LNG, while the second option has to do with strategic initiatives of the EU and Greece to boost interconnector capability between Balkan countries.
At an EU level, Brittany Ferries has signed a €270 million contract with French shipyard, STX France, to construct the first large ferry boat running exclusively on LNG. Once it is completed it will connect the UK with mainland Europe, whilst similar plans are being put in motion by Norwegian and Danish passenger fleets.
This news 9878 hits received.