International conference on LNG organised as part of the GAINN projects – a resounding success!

  • More than 200 people attended the one-day conference

16 March 2016.- The “LNG as Marine Fuel: the Moment of Truth” international conference, organised by Fundación Valenciaport within the framework of the GAINN projects, and financed by the European Commission through its Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Programme, was held today in Valencia and received an enthusiastic reception from attendees.

During the opening session of the conference, Ramón Gómez-Ferrer, Strategic Planning Director of the Port Authority of Valencia (PAV), reiterated the support by the Port of Valencia for these types of initiatives that would enable the Valencia enclave to play a pioneering role in the use of Liquid Natural Gas in the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, the Director of Projects at Fundación Valenciaport, Antonio Torregrosa, gave a presentation of the GAINN projects, drawing attention to the essential role that it will play in reducing emissions in European maritime transport. Lastly, Rafael Rodríguez, Director General of the General Directorate of the Merchant Navy gave a speech about the Spanish maritime strategy regarding the implementation of LNG as a marine fuel.

This was then followed by the first session under the heading “Pioneers in the use of LNG”, chaired by Carlos Rodríguez, Director of HSE and QA at Boluda Corporación Marítima. During the session, there was an overview of the main arguments as to why European ship owners should make the move to LNG. Particular mention was made to the question of compliance with Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention, as well as savings in operating costs.

This was immediately followed by a round-table session about technical solutions currently available on the market, chaired by Mercedes de Juan, Director of R&D&I Projects for the Fundación Valenciaport, and Technical Coordinator for the GAINN projects. Taking part in the debate were representatives of MAK, MAN, WÄRTSILA and Rolls-Royce.

The second session, chaired by Jaime Pancorbo, Technical Director of Bureau Veritas Spain & Portugal, consisted of a presentation of innovative technical solutions that would enable a greater autonomy for LNG-powered vessels, with a feasibility analysis as to its potential for smaller vessels (fishing boats, yachts, etc).

The third session, chaired by Manuel Lage, General Secretary for GASNAM, discussed how best to optimize the LNG logistics chain. The main actors of the Spanish Gas System have analysed the costs associated to the LNG distribution and its impact on the final price. There was also an analysis of the gas supply systems for islands, following the virtual gas pipeline model for Madeira (Portugal).

The small-scale distribution model was the topic dealt with during the fourth session, chaired by the Director of Business Development for Molgas, Ángel Crespo. Some of the advantages highlighted were the reductions in both logistics and storage costs.

The fifth and final session dealt with the different approaches to increase demand for LNG, guaranteeing as such the economic efficiency of the supply facilities. During the session, chaired by Rui Lopes, Port Security Officer and Director of the APRAM Heliport – Ports of Madeira Port Authority, examined the potential use of LNG, not only as a marine fuel, but also as a fuel for trucks, heavy machinery, and as a way to generate power for other land-based activities.

The closing session included speeches by José Anselmo, Chief Executive of the Trans-European Transport Networks (DG-MOVE); Vicente del Río, CEO of Fundación Valenciaport, and Francesc Sánchez, CEO of the PAV.



The common goal of the GAINN projects (GAINN4MOS and GAINN4SHIP INNOVATION) is to contribute findings that support the legislators of EU member states, as well the port authorities and ship owners that operate in a number of different European countries that border on the Mediterranean, in addition to Portugal, so that they can comply more effectively with environmental standards.

GAINN projects include actions aimed at analyzing and deciding what is the best option for a port to be able to supply LNG, actions to design and build the facilities to supply LNG, engineering studies about adapting boats to reduce their emissions down to the desired levels, pilot projects to refit and implement improvements to different types of vessels, and actions to refit or build new vessels that comply with this regulatory framework.

GAINN projects aim to encourage a more ecological, safe and sustainable maritime and ground transport with a 30% reduction in operating costs associated with fuel consumption thanks to the retrofitted prototype vessels, together with a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, and an 80% reduction in sulphur emissions.

GAINN4MOS – 20 partners from 6 EU member states (Slovenia, Italy, France, Croatia, Portugal and Spain): Fundación Valenciaport (coordinator); Port Authority of Valencia; CIMNE (International Centre for Numerical Methods in Engineering); Seaplace S.L.; Boluda Corporación Marítima S.L.; Bureau Veritas; Luka Koper; French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy; Istrabenz Plini; Spanish Ministry of Public Works – the General Directorate of the Merchant Navy; Elengy; Port of Marseille; Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport; Portos dos Açores, S.A. (Pa); Mutualista Açoreana – Transportes Marítimos, S.A.; APDL – Administração dos Portos do Douro, Leixões e Viana do Castelo, S.A.; Grupo Sousa Investimentos Sgps, Lda; APRAM – Administração dos Portos da Região Autónoma de Madeira, S.A.; APSS – Administração dos Portos de Setúbal e Sesimbra, S.A. and LNG Hrvatska.

GAINN4SHIP INNOVATION – partners include Fundación Valenciaport (coordinator); the Port Authority of Valencia, Fred. Olsen, CIMNE and the Spanish Ministry of Public Works – the General Directorate of the Merchant Navy.

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