The Italian Presidency of the Adriatic & Ionian Initiative (AII) has organised a round table discussion on the use of liquified natural gas (LNG) as fuel for maritime transport.

The discussion took place during the 3rd EUSAIR Forum in Catania, held on 24-25 May.

The discussion started with the presentation of Mr Francesco Pilat, an expert from the Italian Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport, who provided a general overview of the LNG market. He explained that the biggest percentage of pollution from ships is concentrated in ports.

As a result, in comparison the use of LNG in maritime transport provides an advantage, given that it presents zero SOx emissions, 90% less NOx emissions and almost zero PM emissions.

Mr Francesco Pilat said that by 2020 the region of the Mediterranean will need to become an Emission Control Area (ECA) which will result in a decrease of SOx emissions to less than 0,1%, while all the ports in the area that are included in the TEN-T are required to develop LNG filling points by 2025.

Ms Tatiana Eleftheriadou, Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator S.A. (DESFA), presented the POSEIDON MED II project as a successful model for the promotion of LNG use in maritime transport from stakeholders in the Adriatic-Ionian region.

She explained that the project has supported the aims of the EUSAIR Action Plan, as well as providing great benefit for the region. The project has created new opportunities for investment in all the aspects of the small-scale LNG supply chain, both at local and at regional level, added value to regional ports, created synergies and new jobs and supported growth.

Finally, Mr Diego Gavagnin, scientific coordinator, LNG National Conference, noted the proposal for the AII to accept the creation of a Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA) for the Adriatic-Ionian region, to begin from January 2020, and to pursue consent from the governments and parliaments of the States in the area.