The South Baltic maritime region: at the forefront of shipping innovation

Europe’s shipping industry must adapt to stricter environmental laws and adopt new technologies if it is to remain competitive. An ERDF-funded project to upgrade liquid natural gas (LNG) infrastructure and increase knowledge capacity should ensure that the South Baltic region is ready to embrace positive change.

Additional tools

The installation of LNG infrastructure promises to benefit the South Baltic region. © MarTech LNG The installation of LNG infrastructure promises to benefit the South Baltic region. © MarTech LNG

" The South Baltic region has little experience with LNG and therefore it makes total sense to collaborate with players who do have extensive experience in this specialised industry. The collaboration with MarTech LNG has allowed us to connect with other companies in the value chain, and as a result this has created commercial opportunities as well as partnership discussions. "

Frank van Dijk, Regional Marketing Director of General Electrics Gas and Oil Europe

When change means opportunity

The enforcement of stricter sulphur regulations and changes in bunker fuel practices have obliged the shipping industry to adapt to new circumstances. Ships must be retrofitted, new infrastructure put in place and new supply chains established in order to ensure that LNG is able to take off as a successful fuel alternative.

Thanks to the MarTech LNG project, businesses in the South Baltic region covering the maritime regions of Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden are not only prepared to meet these new challenges but also ready to seize new opportunities in the field of alternative fuel.

Building regional capacity

The project began in 2012 with a study on the South Baltic Region’s abilities to handle LNG-related infrastructure. Tools were then developed to build up capacity and knowhow.

These include the portal, a unique platform for sharing LNG-related knowledge and news. MarTech LNG also successfully designed and implemented training programmes for businesses on LNG terminals construction and operation.

Putting infrastructure and services in place

MarTech LNG also carried out pre-feasibility consultations on three LNG-technology related tenders. These were LNG bunkering for a short-sea vessel operating in Denmark; LNG terminal capacity allocation in Klaipeda, Lithuania; and the opening of a ferry line between Świnoujście and Klaipeda, thus connecting two major LNG hubs in the region.

Positive regional impact

As an overall result of the project, the MarTech_LNG partnership estimates an investment amount of approximately EUR 50m to be unlocked.

Amongst other outcomes, the project contributed to the establishment of commercial operations of a floating storage and regasification unit for Klaipedos Nafta, the operator of the Klaipeda LNG terminal in Lithuania. The company has also reached agreement with German-based Bomin Linde LNG to jointly explore the possibility of developing a vessel to provide LNG bunkering services in the region.

Both companies also plan to construct an on-shore LNG reloading station in the port of Klaipeda, which will offer small scale LNG services and thus serve to increase the demand for LNG in the Baltic States and Poland.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Marine Competence, Technology and Knowledge Transfer for LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) in the South Baltic Sea Region (MarTech LNG)” is EUR 1 352 886, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 1 088 532 through the Operational Programme “South Baltic” for the 2007- 2013 programming period.

Draft date