Perennial ‘chicken and egg’-type concerns on the future of LNG as a bunker fuel have done little to dissuade the partners behind Gorskaya LNG, a small-scale project on Russia’s Baltic coast.
Gorskaya said last week it had placed an order for three LNG bunker vessels, making it the most advanced of the projects planned in the region.
The plant, near St Petersburg, will allow Russia to refuel LNG vessels in the Gulf of Finland and export small-scale cargoes to Europe. Initial startup is slated for December 2016. It will use a floating barge capable of producing 420,000 tons of LNG per year. The developers plan to add two further barges, giving a total capacity of 1.26 mtpa.
The companies backing Gorskaya remain largely unknown, although a list of partners on the project’s website includes Gazprom and Sberbank among a number of other Russian state-owned enterprises. The registered owner of project company LNG Gorskaya is Lameniya – a business consultancy.
Ports in the North and Baltic seas have been investing in LNG bunkering infrastructure in response to the introduction of sulphur emission control areas (ECAs), which limit the sulphur content of fuels to less than 0.1%.
“There have been a number of such projects planned in the Baltic in the expectation that the demand for LNG as a bunker fuel will increase” Andy Flower, an independent LNG consultant, told Interfax. (From interfaxenergy.com)