Ports prepare for SECA 2015 in LNG infrastructure project

In line with the IMO’s decision on Sulphur Emission Control Areas to be established by 1 January 2015, the Baltic Ports Organization has initiated the “LNG in Baltic Sea Ports” project, co-financed by the EU TEN-T MultiAnnual Programme, with the aim of finding the prerequisites for a harmonised approach on LNG bunker filling infrastructure in the Baltic Sea Area. On the basis of SSPA’s extensive involvement as experts in the introduction of LNG, SSPA has been commissioned to analyse the best options for locations of LNG terminals in Scandinavian ports.

Major role enables a validation platform

Of seven ports involved, SSPA Sweden AB is responsible for carrying out the pre-investment studies on behalf of Copenhagen – Malmö, Stockholm and Aarhus, and thus plays a major role in the BPO project. The studies of the two former ports are expected to be finalised by Q4 2013, while the study of the latter continues until the end of 2014. For each of the ports the expected deliverables is a report functioning as a decision support, in order to be able to decide if further measures need to be taken for an LNG infrastructure. The studies for each of the ports have varied in extent, from a feasibility study with a first step market analysis, localisation study and investment analysis for Copenhagen Malmö Port to a more extensive study for Aarhus, that, above the feasibility study, also includes getting approval from the authorities, a process including a risk analysis, and furthermore developing a pre-design and subsequent design of the planned infrastructure. For Stockholm the initial feasibility study was followed by the preparation of plans on how to arrange LNG bunkering at Stadsgården, in the passenger area. The final part of the Stockholm activity is to prepare a safety manual for bunkering and use of LNG in port areas. 

The scope of each port activity has differed and running three separate studies within a larger project frame has added to the SSPA in-house expertise in the field of LNG related projects and provided the opportunity of setting up a validation platform for methods used in these kinds of projects. For the ports involved this means the project set up and methods have been subject to a constant review, which in turn has enabled cross-checking and validating results.

Methods used

All of the feasibility studies started with market studies and volume estimations, where the use of AIS data for traffic flows in a certain area has given the chance to isolate facts needed for volume estimations. By looking at the number of passages, number of individual vessels and type of vessels, it is possible to gather valid data on traffic patterns. Furthermore, gathering statistics on vessel segments and age structures, combined with outlooks on new building schemes from shipyard order books, makes it possible to predict future changes in certain fleets or traffic flows in various areas.

Sensitivity analysis is used as a validation tool for predicting volume estimations, formulating high and low LNG scenarios for each individual port, with short- and long-term perspectives included, relieving final findings or scenario layouts, also weighing in scenarios of LNG  price development. Methodology for localization studies typically includes acquiring infrastructure data, e.g. on land-based users, industries, possibilities of accessing a future terminal with various means of transport and interviews with strategic partners and regional planning authorities. Combining estimated volumes with costs of the various ways of storage, distribution and means of transportation, gives clear indications about suitable locations and choice of terminal from a cost and market analysis perspective.

When it comes to risk analysis methods, SSPA follows the FSA methodology (Formal Safety Assessment, adopted and approved by the UN International Maritime Organization). Since, for the Port of Aarhus, the approval process included carrying out a risk analysis, the scope of this risk analysis was based on the legal requirements of the authorities and the EIA procedure. The risk analysis focused on the facility, the terminal and the operational situation, specifically the bunkering procedure. For approval processes, in an overall perspective, it is vital to follow relevant regulations and laws. For LNG implementation these laws differ between countries. In the main, specific national laws apply for the Port of Aarhus, apart from relevant international laws and directives, such as the Seveso EU directive.

Harmonisation and dissemination

In the “LNG in Baltic Sea Ports” project, the harmonisation and dissemination of results will be secured via a stakeholder platform where key players will be gathered from both the Baltic ports and outside the region. Another important step in the dissemination process is to develop an LNG handbook, which will include a suggested approach for LNG bunkering infrastructure and guidelines on how to set up LNG infrastructure in a port.

Photos and illustrations

Density plot of ship traffic in the Kattegat. The plot is created in IWRAP with AIS-data from the Swedish Maritime Administration. 

Risk analysis based on case by case

Rules and regulations process from an EU perspective.