Port of Koper looks to LNG
Slovenia’s Port of Koper is currently looking into its LNG infrastructure on the back of Directive 2014/94/EU which was adopted with the aim of minimising dependence on oil and mitigating the environmental impact of transport.
Through the Directive, the European Union requested Member States to draft national policy frameworks on alternative fuels. Member States are also expected to ensure that an appropriate number of refuelling points for LNG are put in place to enable ships to circulate throughout the TEN-T Core Network by the end of 2025.
Goran Matešič, energy manager at the Port of Koper, is sure that the port’s studies carried out as part of the EU’s GAINN4MOS Action programme will help also in the preparation of the country’s national framework policy on alternative fuels.
Initial studies consider that there is currently no demand for LNG at the Port of Koper because vessels apparently prefer to refuel in other north Adriatic ports, and this is expected to continue in future.
Despite this seemingly lack of need for fixed LNG infrastructure, because the Port of Koper is among Core EU ports, it still has to guarantee to be able to support LNG powered vessels.
Outcomes of an initial study under the programme have taken into account the space limitation at the port along with safety issues and it looks likely that the port could only offer mobile refuelling solutions through specialised feeder vessels at anchor and not at berth.
With regards to the possibilities for the use of LNG as a fuel for port handling equipment – that is a consideration for the port in relation to yard tractors. But economic calculations need to be conducted and weighed up against the benefits of reduced emissions.
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