Yesterday GASNAM (Spanish Association of Natural Gas for Mobility) organized the conference “The use of LNG as marine fuel.” This event was part of the parallel activities to the International Fair SINAVAL-Eurofishing 2015, held at the Bilbao Exhibition Center. The opening was led by GASNAM president José Ramón Freire, who emphasized the advantages of this alternative fuel in the maritime sector and the economic potential it represents for Spain.
The presentations by the Spanish Shipowners Association (ANAVE), the Basque Energy Authority and the Port Authority of Gijón highlighted the importance of training the crews of LNG-powered vessels; the ongoing projects for the construction of an LNG towing vessel and a ship-to-ship bunkering barge; and the business development that the use of LNG represent for Spanish ports, as seven Spanish terminals represent the 50% of the total European capacity.
GASNAM Maritime VP José Poblet presented a technical study on the options available that allow shipowners face the new rules of the ECA, where LNG is described as the best option, particularly for new built ships. Currently, there are five new ships being equipped with LNG engines at Spanish shipyards, plus some major retrofits of auxiliary engines as Balearia’s Abel Matutes ferry and other projects still under study.
The closing of the day was given by the harbormaster of Bilbao, Carlos García Buendía, who stressed the strategic importance of LNG in Spain and the great knowledge and experience of local industry regarding this fuel, giving an excellent and competitive position both for bunkering services as well as for construction and conversion of ships.
GASNAM General Secretary Manuel Lage, who acted as moderator, welcomed the broad participation in the conference and commented on the training services offered by the association.