A grant agreement was signed between the European Commission, the Ministry for Energy and Water Management, and Transport Malta for the co-financing of a technical study on the potential of developing LNG as a marine fuel in Malta, aimed for the decarbonisation of maritime transport.
Following a proposal submitted last December to the Synergy call under the Connecting Europe Facility programme, a maximum of €600,000 was awarded.
This call, with a total budget of €40 million, was the first of its nature and aims at supporting synergy actions between the transport and energy sectors to deploy sustainable and efficient transport and energy infrastructure across the EU.
The study will facilitate the Government’s task in setting up a national policy in this field, with the aim to stimulate LNG uptake as a marine fuel and to attract potential investors in this sector.
Malta’s present fuel oil bunkering market, the island’s strategic position at the crossroads of the busiest maritime corridor in the Mediterranean, and the requirements of EU Directive 2014/94/EU for the development of an LNG refuelling infrastructure for maritime transport in main European ports highlight the need and potential for such studies.
The study will identify the optimal offshore, outside port infrastructure solutions for the development of maritime LNG bunkering in Malta considering the future market demand, attractiveness, economic, environmental, geographical, safety and risk aspects including possible synergies with the planned Malta-Italy gas pipeline interconnector, Project of Common Interest.
It will also include a socio-economic cost-benefit analysis, a preliminary risk assessment for optimal infrastructure solutions, and the identification of the regulatory and legislative gaps for the implementation and operation of such infrastructure.
The Energy and Water Agency and Transport Malta will be overseeing the execution of the study which was awarded to Tractebel Engineering S.p.A. following a public call for tenders.
This work is in line with EU requirements and forms part of the Government’s policy to deliver cleaner air.
Source: Press Release by the Ministry for Energy and Water Management