Increasing air pollution in port cities and strict environmental regulations (e.g. the introduction of the Sulphur directive as of IMO MARPOL Annex VI) made it crucial for the maritime and transport industries to search for alternative fuel and energy sources. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) promises to present a solution for their dilemma.
Project "Go LNG" is a response to the ever-changing situation on the LNG market. It is focused on the development of demand and accessibility of LNG in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). The project activities are aimed at the implementation of the EU Clean Fuel Strategy and the EU Directive on Deployment of Alternative Fuel Infrastructure in order to establish a strategic approach for the development of LNG infrastructure and promote its usage in the transport industry.
The strategy needs to be relevant for the industry as well as maintain and facilitate business partnerships, competence building and higher demand by adding users or providing business models for existing and upcoming LNG infrastructure.
LNG infrastructure is a pricing bottleneck. At some point it can reach more than 50% of the LNG energy cost, due to the fact that LNG is not yet widely used and is serves only one user. Therefore the GO LNG project is looking into possibilities to show how the existing LNG infrastructure and technology can benefit all LNG users and make it more competitive in terms of availability and pricing.
Subsequently, the project will establish a BSR LNG business cluster that will help the transport and marine technology industry be more competitive towards the Blue growth strategy, establishing the value chain for the BSR as a hub for clean shipping, competence and technology in LNG for transport. The aim of the cluster is to promote innovation and business projects, providing solutions for existing and upcoming users. It would also enhance everyday LNG usage i.e. LNG powered trucks and ships, LNG energy or LNG power for inland waterways.
The BSR already is one of the leaders in LNG usage, with LNG being one of the most relevant options in achieving environmental regulations (SECA, NECA) not only in Europe but all around the world. These regulations will soon apply to other regions, requiring from them working examples and solutions.
In order to use our advantageous position, we need a value chain able to provide worldwide LNG services, relevant to the maritime industry and building up on the fact that the BSR is the leader in this particular field. There is a plan to establish a BSR LNG competence center, working on the existing LNG polices, R&D and business models.
Baltic countries have already invested a significant amount of money into energy independence (Poland and Lithuania have built large scale import terminals, further small scale LNG terminals are coming) and there is a strong need to better utilize already existing infrastructure to open this new economic sector for local industries and expand the services, providing not only regasification but also bunkering and transshipment.
Regional industries would also benefit from governmental investments and higher energy security, increasing LNG usage as energy source and helping to cover the country's domestic energy demand. The GO LNG project is based on the MarTech LNG initiative that was a flagship project in the EUSBSR. The project gathered an efficient LNG business and expert network that already resulted in business projects valued at EUR 46 mln.
Since the GO LNG project is based on the previous initiative, it is very likely to be successful in establishing the BSR LNG business cluster and competence center. The GO LNG project was initiated due to stakeholder interest in a more structuralized business cooperation model and LNG knowledge distribution in the BSR. The project consortium consists of 18 partners from 6 different countries and gathers all major LNG stakeholders in the BSR.