As part of its energy transition and decarbonization strategy, and with a firm commitment to reducing emissions, Endesa has presented a project to operate LNG bunkering operations for maritime transport in the terminal port of Los Barrios, in Algeciras Bay (Cádiz). To do this, it has allocated an initial investment of around 15.6 million euros. After a detailed analysis and incorporating the latest technology on the market, it will spend a total of around 34.5 million euros to adapt the facilities before 2023. After receiving authorization from the Port of Algeciras Bay Authority to extend the term of the concession for the current facility, the new terminal will reach a storage capacity of around 4,080 cubic meters and an annual volume of energy managed 1,100 GWh. With this capacity, the Cádiz terminal will become the main LNG bunkering port station in Spain.
According to Endesa’s General Director of Energy Management, Juan María Moreno, “the strategic location of our terminal offers opportunities for growth and diversification into new lines of business, such as LNG bunkering, which are a good fit and will enable us to make progress with our decarbonization strategy by focusing on activities that lead to a reduction in emissions.”
The president of the APBA, Gerardo Landaluce, also highlighted the importance of this significant investment by Endesa in the region as “a commitment to sustainability and alternative energies that will allow the Port of Algeciras to help reduce the carbon footprint of maritime transport and meet the objectives of the Agenda2030.”
Each year, about 120,000 ships cross the Strait of Gibraltar, 30,000 of which make a stopover or anchor in Algeciras Bay. That is why the location of the Endesa terminal has become crucial since the entry into force of the new maritime transport regulations in 2020, which have changed the environmental paradigm in terms of fuel consumption. The new framework requires a reduction of the percentage of sulfur in fuel oil for maritime transport of 0.5%, making LNG the best alternative for shipowners from an environmental point of view, compared to others such as fuel oil or diesel, which were previously their main fuels. At present, LNG is the fuel that allows the greatest reduction of greenhouse gases and eliminates local pollution almost entirely. It is also foreseeable that environmental restrictions will become even stricter in the coming decades, making LNG bunkering a growth activity.
Parallel to the LNG bunkering activity, the possibility of new business lines in the terminal will extend to other sectors. The docks at Endesa’s current port terminal are suitable for all types of ships of any draft, which gives the Endesa facility in Los Barrios great flexibility and versatility.
So far, Endesa has used this facility mainly to unload coal and store optical fibre and electrical connection cable. This expansion and modification will open the door to new business lines associated with LNG. In 2019, the company managed a distributed energy volume of 116,611 Gwh, of which 79,784 GWh corresponded to gas sales of 79,784 GWh.
The Los Barrios terminal has additional space for possible future expansion depending on the evolution of demand (two additional docks). The facility will be able to progressively increase its storage capacity as demand and supply for LNG bunkering grows from the initial 4,080 m3 to 10,000 m3 during the decade, with two additional docks. It is also planned to open a natural gas station to supply LNG by road.
The project has already been approved in the environmental authorization phase and has just received a ten-year extension of the port terminal concession from the Port of Algeciras Bay Authority to get the ball rolling. The work to adapt the facility, consisting mainly of installing tanks and the pipe network, will create up to 125 jobs in the construction phase until the end of 2022
The Bay of Algeciras in figures:
- Around 30,000 ships / year make stopovers every year.
- It is the leading port in the Mediterranean and ranks fourth in Europe in volume of activity, and 32nd in the world in container traffic.
- > 100 million tons of total traffic.
- > 4.5 million containers.
- One of the most important bunkering ports in the world.
- FO/GO bunker market of 2.2 million tons – (equiv. 1/3 of the gas market in Spain).