LNG in Malta

When compared to other fossil fuels, natural gas (NG) has significantly lower CO2 emissions per unit of energy produced. In fact, NG produces 37% less greenhouse gas emissions when compared to Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) and 33% less when compared to gasoil. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is simply cooled down natural gas to a temperature of -1600C, which makes it easier to store and transport. Indeed, LNG takes up only 1/600 of the volume occupied by natural gas when in its natural ‘gaseous’ form at atmospheric pressure.

LNG for Power Generation

In March 2013, Electrogas Malta Consortium was identified and selected to provide Enemalta plc. with its power and gas requirements. Electrogas has proposed to design, engineer, build and operate a 215MW Combined Cycle Power Plant (DPS 4), as well as the facilities required for the receiving, storage and regasification of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). The latter is stored in a receiving and storage facility consisting of a floating storage unit (FSU) and gas is being fed to DPS 4 and to the newly installed Diesel Engine combined cycle plant DPS 3 via a re-gasification unit. With this change in power generation, and the decommissioning of the older plant, Malta is now free from all dependency on heavy fuel oil, providing Malta with a cleaner and more cost-effective energy for the generation of electricity.

Figure 1: Estimated Values of the Electricity Mix for Power Generation as from the Commissioning of LNG in Malta

LNG for Vessel Bunkering

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering is the practice of providing fuel to a ship for its own consumption. Unlike other traditional methods of fuelling ships, such as heavy fuel oil (HFO) or marine gas oil (MGO), LNG has a considerable less content of pollutants. In fact, through Directive 2012/33/EU the European Union is tightening emission allowances by controlling the sulphur content in marine fuel. Furthermore, the European Commission is stimulating the use of alternative fuels in transport through Directive 2014/94/EU.

Currently, LNG bunkering in the Mediterranean is still a new concept, and no LNG refuelling facilities are found in Malta. However, the Energy & Water Agency, in collaboration with the Ministry for Energy and Water Management and Transport Malta, is embarking into a new study to determine the technical feasibility and cost analysis of introducing LNG as a Marine Fuel in the Maltese ports and waters.

For more information visit the Technical Study and Cost Benefit Analysis for the Development of LNG as a Marine Fuel in Malta.

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