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EU-funded sustainability project led by Dragages Ports starts in Gijon

News // February 3, 2017

An EU co-funded CEF project with the snappy title 'Spanish/French Sustainable Atlantic Motorways of the seas Using as fuel for Engine LNG,' or 'S/F SamueLNG' for short, started on 13 December 2016, in Gijon, Spain.

The S/F SamueLNG Project, which is led by French Dragages Ports (DP), is the first phase of the project ‘Towards a Blue Atlantic Arch by 2025’.

The overall project aims to improve the sustainability of marine traffic through the use of marine liquefied natural gas (LNG) as an environmentally-friendly, and cost-effective, alternative to conventional ship fuels for small vessels.

According to the ‘Third IMO Greenhouse Gas Study 2014’, maritime transport emits around 1000 million tonnes of CO2 annually and is responsible for about 2.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Shipping emissions are predicted to increase by between 50 per cent and 250 oer cent by 2050 – depending on future economic and energy developments – and something clearly needs to be done. 

Such increases are not compatible with the internationally agreed goal of keeping the global temperature increase below 2°C, compared to pre-industrial levels. The current goals require worldwide emissions to be at least halved, from 1990 levels, by 2050.

Subsequently, the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) has agreed that implementation of a 0.5 per cent global sulphur cap on marine fuel will be brought forward to 2020, from the originally proposed date of 2025.

The S/F SamueLNG Project will contribute to this by helping to achieve the objectives of two key EU Directives: Directive 2014/94/EU on the sustainability of the European maritime transport and Directive 2012/33/EU on reduction in the sulphur content of marine fuels.

Over the next three years, the S/F SamueLNG Project will cover the following key activities:

• LNG retrofit of DP’s Samuel de Champlain - an 8,500m3 trailing suction hopper dredger - from marine gas oil to a dual-source fuel engine system
• LNG bunkering studies including: a risk assessment in the port of Nantes Saint-Nazaire, a mobile bunkering unit in the Port of Gijon, and a floating device in the Port of Vigo (in conjunction with each of the port’s partners)
• Environmental Impact Assessment studies in the Ports of Rouen, Le Havre and Nantes Saint-Nazaire
• The training of staff involved in LNG operations in the Ports of Nantes Saint-Nazaire and Rouen
• Dissemination of the results to the maritime community by CEDA.

The SamueLNG Project is coordinated by DP and supported by a solid consortium of 12 partners, from along the Atlantic Arch, representing France, Spain and the Netherlands.

The partners working alongside DP are:

• five public port authorities: Nantes Saint-Nazaire (GPMNSN), Le Havre (GPMH), Rouen (GPMR), Port Authority of Gijon (APG), Port Authority of Vigo (APV)
• two ship engineering and design companies: Inova, Ghenova
• two energy supply companies: Energias de Portugal (EDP), Gas Natural Fenosa (GNF)
• a short sea shipping company: Suardiaz (VN)
• an international dredging association: CEDA

The S/F SamueLNG Project started work in earnest, at the meeting in Gijon, Spain, to agree schedules which will be disseminated to all interested parties in due course. The EU tendering process, to choose the shipyard that will carry out the LNG conversion, will begin soon.

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