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BUNKER INDEX :: Price Index, News and Directory Information for the Marine Fuel Industry
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Natural gas 'has bright prospects as a bunker fuel': Alexey Miller

Gazprom's CEO is upbeat about LNG bunkering during conference address in Vienna.

Updated on 29 May 2017 07:51 GMT

The CEO of Russia's state gas giant Gazprom Neft (Gazprom), Alexey Miller, was upbeat about the future of natural gas as a marine fuel during a recent event in Austria.

Speaking last week during the 'Natural Gas as Destination Fuel for the Future Conference' at the International Business Congress in Vienna, Miller discussed how the adoption of natural gas was increasing in sectors of the transportation industry and remarked that "natural gas also has bright prospects as a bunker fuel."

"At present, a number of projects for LNG bunkering of river and sea vessels are being carried out under the auspices of the European Union," Miller pointed out, adding: "Gazprom, as a supplier, implements small-scale LNG projects in the Baltic Sea region."

Back in 2013, Gazprom, the world's largest gas producer, set itself the target of having a 30 percent share of the Russian bunker, aviation and bitumen markets by 2025.

The Russian energy firm has been involved in a number of LNG bunker-related initiatives and businesses over the last few years. The key projects have been listed below.

- Gazprom is working with Gasunie on construction of a small-scale LNG terminal in Rostock. The terminal is to receive, store, and ship liquefied natural gas that will be used as a bunker and vehicle fuel.

- Gazprom signed a strategic cooperation agreement last year with Shell to look into the feasibility of building an LNG plant with an annual capacity of 10 million tonnes in the port of Ust-Luga, Russia.

- Gazprom is building an LNG import, storage and regasification in Kaliningrad that will be able to receive up to 2.7 billion cubic meters of gas per year. The facility is slated to enter operation in late 2017.

- Gazprom signed a memorandum with Mitsui in September to jointly collaborate in LNG bunkering studies in the Asia-Pacific region.

- Gazprom has a 25 percent shareholding in Gasum, which has a 51 percent stake in LNG bunker supplier Skangas.

Additionally, Gazprom's marine fuel business, Gazpromneft Marine Bunker, is a leading marine fuel supplier in Russia. Last year, the company claimed to have a 21 percent share of Russia's bunkering market and reported sales of 3.7 million tonnes in 2015.

Renewables vs natural gas

One of Miller's key arguments in the 'renewables versus natural gas' debate is that natural gas is more reliable.

"Many countries, especially in Europe, shift their attention to 'green' energy. On the face of it, that would really help in mitigating environmental impacts. There is, however, a major drawback: renewables are not reliable. Depending on the weather, there can be too much energy or none at all. Add to that the fact that storing and transporting renewable energy is technologically difficult and extremely expensive," Miller said in Vienna last week.

Gazprom's CEO also highlighted the "global nature of gas" and its cost-effectiveness.

"Natural gas is the most cost-efficient energy source in terms of transmission and storage. For decades, gas has been pumped through subsea pipelines and transported across continents in liquefied form. With natural gas, the global economy has an entirely self-sufficient, reliable and integrated energy supply chain from the field to the end consumer."

Miller concluded: "Natural gas offers us an exceptional opportunity to develop the economy in a reliable, sustainable, effective and eco-friendly way. Natural gas is the fuel of the 21st century!"

Related Links:

Gazpromneft-Lubricants claims 36% market share in Russia
First LNG bunker delivery performed at new Pori terminal
Gazprom and Mitsui sign LNG bunkering memorandum
Gazprom strengthens its position in the LNG sector
Gazprom and Fluxys sign LNG cooperation agreement
Gazpromneft Marine Bunker LLC

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