Gas Natural Fenosa and Baleària sign the first permanent LNG bunkering contract for ship propulsion in Spain

  • The energy companies and shipping company close an exclusive supply contract for 10 years. GAS NATURAL FENOSA to supply the ports operated by Baleària.
  • This is the first permanent, multi-system bunkering supply contract for ship propulsion with liquefied natural gas (LNG) to be signed in Spain.
  • Both companies collaborate in other innovative, pioneering projects in Spain for the implementation of solutions to improve the air quality in port and seagoing environments.
The Wholesale Iberian Marketing Manager of GAS NATURAL FENOSA, Joaquín Mendiluce, and the president of Baleària, Adolfo Utor.
The Wholesale Iberian Marketing Manager of GAS NATURAL FENOSA, Joaquín Mendiluce, and the president of Baleària, Adolfo Utor.

GAS NATURAL FENOSA and BALEÀRIA today sign the first permanent Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering contract for ship propulsion in Spain. The supply contract will be exclusive for 10 years and will initially apply to the ports of Barcelona, Valencia and Algeciras, then extended to all the peninsular ports operated by the shipping company together with the entire new fleet powered by this fuel committed to using LNG as an ecological fuel.

The president of Baleària, Adolfo Utor, and the Wholesale Iberian Marketing Manager of GAS NATURAL FENOSA, Joaquín Mendiluce, this morning signed this agreement at the International Tourism Fair (Fitur) in Madrid. The contract between the energy company and Baleària is the first permanent, multi-system bunkering contract for LNG ship propulsion signed in the Iberian Peninsula.

To implement the supply to Barcelona under the contract signed today it will have a ship assigned to LNG bunkering in the Port of Barcelona. In the case of Valencia and Algeciras, both companies are already working on a land-based solution.

“In our commitment to LNG the agreement with GAS NATURAL FENOSA represents a strategic alliance. We are currently building the first two ships powered by this clean energy to operate in the Mediterranean. The first is scheduled to come into operate at the beginning of next year, which makes us pioneers in the use of LNG. We are committed to clean energy as we are convinced it is possible to fight climate change while also being competitive” says Adolfo Utor, the president of Baleària.

“At Gas Natural Fenosa we work to offer solutions that enable sustainable development of sea freight. The agreement we have reached with Baleària is proof of this as we have designed a different technical solution for each of the ports at which we will manage gas supplies. Thanks to the teamwork between Gas Natural Fenosa and Baleària, we have succeeded in identifying the solutions to achieve a very important improvement in air quality at competitive costs”, explained Mendiluce.

A step further in innovative collaboration

GAS NATURAL FENOSA and Baleària have worked together for several years on developing innovative solutions to help enhance the environment in port and maritime environments.

Last year both companies successfully completed a pioneering project in Spain: for the last few months the Abel Matutes is the first ferry to operate with an auxiliary engine supplied by GAS NATURAL FENOSA. Liquefied natural gas bunkering for this ferry was the first operation of its kind to be carried out at the Port of Barcelona. This project reduces emissions and improves air quality.

Natural gas, the key to decarbonising ocean-going transport

The transport sector is one of the key sectors for easing global warming as it is one of the most polluting and a major emitter of CO2. In this respect vehicular natural gas (VNG), both when used as compressed natural gas (CNG) for light transport and its use as liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships and heavy transport is destined to become the fuel of the future in transport owing to its numerous advantages.

As is the case with road transport, VNG, in liquefied form or LNG is also a fuel with a great potential for decarbonising ocean-going transport as most ships are currently powered by oil-based products. The use of LNG as maritime fuel has advantages for the environment: it cuts ambient noise by 50%, CO2 emissions by 25% and NOx and SOx by over 80%.

In addition to the more than 119 ships currently powered by natural gas there is an order portfolio for 125 new ships from now to 2025. The world fleet powered by LNG is increasing at a pace of between 15 and 25% a year, so should this trend continue in 2025 there may exist a worldwide fleet of 300 to 600 ships. It is estimated that in 2035, 22% of total bunkering consumption will be LNG.

Leader in LNG supplies to the end customer

Over the last year, GAS NATURAL FENOSA has carried out an intensive activity across Europe to promote the use of natural gas as a maritime propulsion fuel, aware of its environmental advantages in urban and maritime environments.

The small scale marketing of liquefied natural gas and land and maritime mobility is one of the strategic activities of the energy company which currently supplies over 6 TWh a year of LNG to end customers in the Iberian Peninsula, making GAS NATURAL FENOSA the leader in this market.

About Baleària

Baleària is the leading passenger and cargo shipping company operating with the Balearics, Ceuta and Melilla with the peninsula and in a further five countries. It is a benchmark in service, innovation and social responsibility in the Spanish ocean-going transport sector. In 2016, it carried over 3,500,000 passengers and 5,000,000 linear metres of cargo over the 18 lines it operates. Baleària is also a pioneering shipping company in the use of liquefied natural gas worldwide, as it has the first gas-powered auxiliary engine operating in a passenger ferry and has commissioned the building of two natural gas powered smart ships.