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Spain's official gazette confirms approval of LNG bunkering in Gijon

Spanish port intends to start truck-to-ship bunkering of LNG 'in the coming months'.

Updated on 29 Mar 2017 08:57 GMT

The Port Authority of Gijon on 25th March published in the Spanish government's official state gazette (BOE) the confirmation of its decision to approve plans for the provision of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the port's El Musel LNG terminal.

At its meeting on 6th March, the board of directors gave the green light to go ahead with the commercial supply of LNG to ships at Gijon, in accordance with the provisions of Article 139 of the recast text of the Law on State-owned Ports and the Merchant Navy, approved by the Spanish Legislative Royal Decree 2/2011, of 5th September.

According to local media, the port of Gijon will be providing three-year licenses to bunker suppliers for the truck-to-ship delivery of LNG to ships. Additionally, it is claimed that suppliers will be required to pay a EUR 30,000 guarantee - to cover any fees or possible sanctions; take out a EUR 60,000 insurance policy to cover any potential damages; and pay EUR 0.60 for each tonne of fuel transferred.

LNG to three dual-fuel tugboats

The Port Authority of Gijon previously said on 15th March that it plans to commence truck-to-ship bunkering of LNG "in the coming months".

The port also confirmed that three dual-fuel tugboats, built at the Astilleros Gondan S.A shipyard for Norwegian shipowner Ostensjo Rederi, will "shortly" be supplied with LNG at Gijon.

As previously reported, the last of the three tugboats was launched in December at the port of Figueras in Asturias. Built according to Robert Allan Ltd's RAstar 4000 DF design, the vessels are fitted with twin six-cylinder Wartsila 34DF engines, as well as Wartsila LNGPac fuel systems with 30-cubic-metre horizontally mounted Type C LNG fuel tanks. They are able to operate on either LNG or diesel.

EU financing

The Port of Gijon has recently requested financing from the EU's Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to finance two projects totalling EUR 10.68 million, one of which is the 'Blue Change GO' initiative to promote the use of LNG as both a maritime and land transport fuel.

Gijon also hosted the 'LNG Station 2020' event in December, where Evert Mink, Project Officer at the EU's Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA), moderated a discussion on natural gas as an alternative fuel.

'Excellent' LNG port

Last month, Francisco Blanco, the Counselor of Employment, Industry and Tourism in Asturias, highlighted the "potential" of Gijon's El Musel LNG facility. Referring to the storage and bunkering of LNG, he said: "There are more and more opportunities for this sector, which will have a positive growth in the coming years, so we must take advantage of all the opportunities it offers."

Meanwhile, Marcelino Oreja, CEO of Enagas, said in February that Gijon was an "excellent" port for the supply of LNG to ships, highlighting its strategic location. But he also warned that business could go elsewhere if plans were not approved.

Enagas is project coordinator of the European Commission's 'Core LNGas Hive' initiative, whose objective is to develop an LNG logistics network to promote the use of the gas as a fuel for transport, especially in the marine sector. The project comprises more than 40 partners in Spain and Portugal.

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