Seminar "Joint Cooperation inside the EU"

Seminar

The international seminar “Joint cooperation inside the EU” took place on the 19th of June 2018 at DNV GL headquarters in Gdynia.

The Seminar was opened by Mr. Emil Arolski – Chairman of the Polish LNG Platform who welcomed all the participants and introduced the panellists. A short opening speech was given by Mr. Jan Tlaśka – of DNV GL Poland, Vicepresident of the Board of Polish LNG Platform who presented a general overview of the LNG market in Europe especially regarding the number of operating LNG-powered vessels, LNG trading patterns and earnings in a global perspective. An important statement of Mr. Talaśka was that the LNG market is changing – LNG-based propulsion systems are now adopted to new types of vessels, eg. cruise ships , containerships and a great number of new developments are planned in the upcoming years. In the opinion of Mr. Talaśka Europe is leading the way on the LNG market which is now changing from local to global. DNV GL analysis shows that in the next 5 years 30 to 50 new FSRU (Floating Storage Regasification Unit) will be operating worldwide.

The seminar discussions started with the theme of factors supporting the use of LNG and how to encourage LNG development by lobbying for it among EU decision makers and governments. In the opinion of Mr. Nikolaos Liapis representing the Greek Marine LNG Network, IMO sulphur cap is one of the factors that will push ship owners to gradually change the vessels fleet. This change could be applied to short sea vessels which are the oldest ones. The average age of a short sea vessel operating in Europe is 25 years. As explained by Mr. Andrius Sutnikas from Baltic LNG Cluster and Lithuanian LNG Cluster, to comply with the environmental regulations ship owners will have to overcome the high distribution costs – one of the possible solutions to that problem is the integration of the value chain. In addition, in the opinion of Mr. Sutnikas technology development which causes the decrease of infrastructure costs,  is the key driver for wider LNG availability, including in new areas of transport like rail and inland waterway.  The need to disseminate information about LNG and to promote  this source of energy among the decision makers in the  European Commission was highlighted by Mr. Bogdan Ołdakowski – Secretary General of  Baltic Ports Organization. In his opinion, the potential for LNG development in the Baltic Sea region is very high, and the need to support LNG investments  should be underlined in the CEF II instrument  which will be available in the financial period 2021-2027.  Another factor supporting LNG development, which was stressed by all of the panellists is the state-based support expressed through the subsidized building of LNG-propelled  vessels and vehicles (eg. Icebreakers, coastal guard vessels, trucks) as well as the rate of the excise tax.

An interesting point was raised by Mr. Mikkel Hansen representing the Go LNG project from Denmark, in his opinion it is important to encourage stakeholders, including the government, by starting with a small-scale project and then “scale-it up”. Mr. Hansen underlined as well that the difficulties with LNG development are linked to the very complicated energy supply system  where several alternative fuels are available.

The meeting concluded with a short discussion regarding the application of LNG in municipalities.

Polish LNG Platform would like to thank all the participants for their interesting views and remarks and the panellists for sharing their wide knowledge and experience.