DEPA signed today a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Attica Holdings S.A. (Attica Group), parent company of Superfast Ferries and Blue Star Ferries, for the use of liquefied natural gas by passenger ships. This new cooperation is part of DEPA’s effort to further decentralize the use of natural gas and promote LNG in shipping. The two companies will jointly study the parameters and conditions for the introduction of LNG as ship fuel for the vessels of Attica Group fleet. Decision on further cooperation will be made based on the conclusions of the study.
The use of natural gas in shipping offers the shipping industry the opportunity to contribute to environmental protection which, together with a considerable reduction of operational costs, could open up a new world for the industry.
The use of natural gas ensures compliance with the existing laws regarding sulphur content of marine fuels and with the Ιnternational Μaritime Οrganization’s (ΙΜΟ) decision of 27.10.2016 by which IMO adopted the European and global sulphur cap requiring all ships to use fuels with a maximum 0.5% sulphur content as of January 1, 2020. Natural gas also brings better results in terms of ecological footprint compared to other pollutants, even better than what is required by law.
To this direction, DEPA and Attica Group have joined the POSEIDON MED II project that aims to introduce Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as the main fuel for the shipping industry and develop a sufficient bunkering infrastructure network for LNG.
The project will be coordinated by DEPA and will spread over a five-year time frame, until year 2020. Greece, Cyprus and Italy are partners in this project, while participating ports include Piraeus, Patras, Heraklion, Venice, Igoumenitsa and Limassol.
The project’s budget amounts to € 53,279,405 and is at 50% co-financed by the European Commission (“Connecting Europe Facility – CEF”) whereas the remaining 50% is covered by the 26 partners of the project, namely, businesses from Greece, Cyprus and Italy.
The project aspires to design a holistic solution involving the participating ports and a supply (and bunkering) network that will serve for the transportation, distribution of LNG to be used as a ship fuel, and the creation of a well-functioning and sustainable market.
A few words about DEPA and Attica Group
Natural gas was first introduced in Greece by DEPA, which implemented the highest investment funds in the energy sector in Greece in the past 25 years. By continuously expanding the natural gas pipelines and establishing new Natural Gas Supply Companies (EPAs), DEPA Group brings natural gas to more and more regions across the country.
Having landed long-term natural gas supply contracts (by way of pipelines, and LNG), DEPA upholds supply sufficiency and assurance for the country and, at the same time, it takes on significant initiatives so as to enable Greece to play a leading role as a hub of natural gas transit towards Europe from countries with rich natural gas deposits.
Attica Group, a pioneer in passenger vessels for 20 years now, has contributed to the building of new and innovative ships and the improvement of services in Europe by implementing an investment plan of 1,5 bln euro, which makes Attica Group number one investor in the shipping sector in Greece.
Today, Attica Group provides ferry services for passengers and cargo in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, with a fleet consisting of 13 cutting-edge vessels of an average age of 14 years, serving over 40 destinations in both domestic and international routes (Greece – Italy route), using conventional fuels.
Attica Group is also active in the Europe – Africa route by connecting Morocco with Spain, at the same time exploring prospects for further expansion and sustainable development.