Ports Law expected to be adapted for the development of LNG bunkering
The Spanish Gas Association Sedigas is waiting for the adaptation of the current Ports Law to the new European Regulation, as well as an adequate regulation of LNG bunkering that reinforces the commitment of this new port service. The association encourages the use of natural gas in maritime mobility, as its partners are committed to the decarbonization of transport. Improving air quality in cities with port activity is one of the issues that the gas sector has identified as a relevant concern of citizens and local governments.
This was stated by the President of Sedigas Rosa María Sanz in the webinar about the “Current Situation and Future Prospects for Bunkering in Spain,” which also featured presentations of the President of the Barcelona Port Authority Mercé Conesa and the Director of Exploitation of State Ports Leandro Melgar.
“A Ports Law adapted to the new European Regulation is necessary to decisively protect people's health thanks to the improvement of the air quality offered by LNG. The gas sector offers all its availability to continue working on a model of specifications and also with the adaptation to the Law,” said Sanz.
In ports, the regulation of bunkering or fuel supply to ships is decisive in reducing emissions that contributes to cleaner air. On March 24 2019, the Regulation 2017/352 of the European Union began to be applied, offering a great novelty: the change in the legal nature of the bunkering service in ports, going from being a commercial service to a port service and, therefore, with public service obligations. In this document, bunkering service is also considered to be the supply with gaseous fuels, therefore including natural gas mainly in its liquid form (LNG).
Sedigas has prepared a series of proposals and suggestions to continue working on adapting the new regulations to the technical needs of LNG supply, as well as the general criteria for the provision of the service, with the aim of serving as a reference to the Ports Authorities in the new wording of Particular Conditions for each port.
Spain is the European country with the largest number of regasification plants, which places it at the head of the European Union and LNG storage capacity. Thanks to its geostrategic situation and the investments made to boost the LNG bunkering activity, the country’s potential to develop this service in maritime transport is evident.
Furthermore, natural gas is a key agent to achieve an orderly and viable transition towards a new energy model. It is abundant, economically competitive and with less environmental impact than petroleum derivatives, which makes it the right ally to achieve the decarbonization objectives of the European Union. Likewise, this fuel allows improving the air quality of ports and cities, without requiring the development of additional infrastructure.