In the context of the POSEIDON MED II project, a workshop entitled “Forming the LNG bunkering market in Eastern Mediterranean” took place on Friday, 28th of April, at the offices of the Hellenic Shortsea Shipping Association (HSSA). The list of distinguished speakers addressed the availability of supplies and commercial practices which are currently applied in the international market (types and terms of contracts, pricing systems) and exchanged views on the practices that will support the development of the LNG Bunkering market in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
The workshop was jointly organized by OceanFinance and DEPA to bring together shipping, maritime and LNG experts with a view to optimizing best commercial practices from each sector, with a view to integrating internationally applied LNG trade practices with traditional HFO bunkering methods.
Dr. Panayotis Zacharioudakis, Managing Director of Ocean Finance, moderated the workshop opening the discussion with reference to the two main issues regarding the formation of the LNG bunkering market: pricing and the different contract types and terms. The President of the Association of Hellenic Passenger Shipping Companies (SEEN), Mr. Michalis Sakellis, spoke about the prospect of the adoption of LNG as marine fuel by SEEN members, pinpointing some of the main concerns of the Shipowners over the commercial practices. Nevertheless, he expressed his belief that the first applications of LNG for ships will soon start in the port of Patras. Similar concerns regarding the commercial practices were expressed also by Mr. Dimitris Spyridakis, who spoke on behalf of Hellenic Shortsea Ship-owners Association (HSSA) members. However, he also made reference to the plans of the “European Co-operation” for the construction of dual-fuel technology tugboats (designed to use MDO and LNG) that will operate in the Danube region.
The General Manager of Bunkernet, Mr. Nicolas Argyrou, pointed out the predominance of LNG as the marine fuel of the future according to International Organisations and Gas/Petroleum Companies and presented examples of good practices already applied globally. He underlined that, even though the market does not yet seem ready to accept the shock of the upcoming enforcement of new environmental regulations, will shortly internally develop the required mechanisms to adapt. These mechanisms, he argued, will create the necessary space for the deployment of both LNG and desulfurized petroleum distillates, which, however, he does not consider as competing, but as two completely different products.
Speaking on behalf of DEPA – tasked with the coordination of the POSEIDON MED II project, Mrs. Maria Fotiadou gave a presentation demonstrating the availability of LNG supplies in both the Global and the Greek market and providing information on terms and conditions included in gas supply contracts. Noting that the LNG Bunkering market is currently being developed Maria Fotiadou stressed that all interested parties have the opportunity to work together to shape the best commercial practices to their mutual benefit including by ensuring the requirements and expectations of the shipping industry.
The meeting ended with an exchange of views concluding that progress regarding the development of the required infrastructure and the establishment of an appropriate legislative framework are the prerequisites to bridge the needs of suppliers and buyers alike and enable the emergence of an efficient LNG bunkering market.
For the presentations of the conference please click on the links below: