Motorways of the Sea is the maritime part of the EU Commissions programmes CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) and TEN-T (Trans-European Transport Network). Between 2014 and 2020 21 billion Euros will strengthen the transport sector, the largest amount ever dedicated to building infrastructure in Europe. The focus these first years will be on a core network consisting of ten transport corridors through Europe, where the Motorways of the Sea is an important one.
Brian Simpson, European Coordinator for Motorways of the Sea (MoS), and Jose Anselmo who is TEN-T/MoS Policy Advisor stressed several times during the two conference days in Gothenburg that it's the industry and maritime cluster itself that has to drive this.
- This is not Commission led, it's industry led. Then CEF and TEN-T is here to help, and has a lot of money to do it, says Brian Simpson.
The first day of the conference presented results from TEN-T projects held within the Zero Vision Tool, and their Pilot Scrubber, Pilot LNG and Pilot Methanol who consists of several Joint Industry Projects (JIP). One of them is a collaboration between Stena and Wärtsilä, who will result in the first methanol fueled vessel in the world.
- In January Stena Germanica will go to the shipyard to go through the convertion. It's very exciting times, says Per Stefenson from Stena Teknik. He means that the strength of Methanol compared to LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) as they see it is that with Methanol you can use existing infrastructure for storage and transport, and bunkering facilities for LNG is very expensive.
The second day focused on the next step. A bit on how one can recievie funding, the CEO of Stena Rederi Carl-Johan Hagman talked about SECA and how it will affect them and how they may profit from it in a longer run, and Sveinung Oftedal from the Norweigan Ministry of Environment and IMO-representative talked about would was on the horison at IMO.
Also new JIP projects was presented. Among them the project ECA Bonus, a project that aims to develop a system that give bonus to transport companies using the sea, to stop shift to the road.
Claes Berglund at Stena is the project leader for ECA Bonus:
- We see that our customers look into choosing the road instead of the sea, which will mean increased traffic congestions, increased pollution, more accidents, infrastructure problems, noise and so on, which will cost the society money. The plan is to instead take this money into a bonus system to keep the goods on the safer and more sustainable sea transports, he says.
Two other new projects with new LNG-fueled ship was also presented. Donsö based Terntank will build one vessel, and Destination Gotland will invest in one for their route between Stockholm and Visby.
- We believe that LNG is the best solution for us, and are really pleased to be able to take the first steps with building a new, future proof ferry, said Christer Bruzelius, CEO of Destination Gotland.
This was the first of three planned Motorways of the Sea conferences. The next one will be in Venice in March 2015 and last in Liverpool 2016.