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Review: 2018 Polish LNG Conference

Mateusz Ciasnocha delivers CID's keynote address.

The 2018 Polish LNG Conference was a great success. Over 120 participants gathered on November 14th and 15th in Warsaw to explore the latest trends and discuss the current market state of the LNG industry in Europe and Poland. It was the second edition of the event, and the second year CID participated. In this review we will recap the key themes discussed.

The Polish LNG Market

The event kicked off with a look at the main drivers for the development of the LNG market in Poland and Europe. The keynote speech, delivered by Tommy Mattila, Marketing & Sales Director at Skangas, set the field for the discussion. Talking about Poland, Mattila mentioned the country’s high rate of LNG utilization, leading to high growth potential for its small-scale LNG sector. The session continued with Marcin Płocharski, Indirect Channel Marketing Advisor at Shell, focusing on the development of LNG as fuel for road transportation in Poland. Cost competitiveness and positive environmental impact, combined with already available and reliable engine technology and a secure supply chain were among the listed benefits.

US-Poland LNG Relationship: Politics or the Market?

The attention of the participants was then switched to the topic of energy independence and the role LNG plays with regard to that issue. During an in-depth analysis of the importance of the partnership between the US and Poland, prepared by the Center for Industrial Development, Mateusz Ciasnocha argued that further regulatory work on both sides is required in order to create better market conditions, enabling trade between the involved parties to flourish. Mateusz further illustrated the delicate balance between politics and market conditions that define the US-Poland relationship. He posited that perfect market conditions must be achieved on both sides of the Atlantic in order for US LNG to compete with other sources and for Poland to choose the fuel source that is most affordable.

Zooming in on the situation in the Baltic region, the audience was then given the chance to follow the Baltic Connector project from its inception to the beginning of construction works. The ambitious initiative, enjoying significant financial support by the EU, presents an opportunity for the region to create a common gas market for the Baltic states. The session concluded with a closer look at the state of natural gas infrastructure development in the Baltic and CEE region, with special attention given to Gaz-System’s Baltic Pipe project.

Small-scale LNG Applications

After getting a taste for large-scale projects, the focus shifted to the small-scale market, with Ernst & Young kicking the session off with an examination of the sector. As of now, small-scale is still a niche market, but one should not forget the opportunities it presents for capturing segments that historically comprised low proportion of natural gas mix due to the lack of access to pipelines or historic reliance on fuels such as fuel and diesel. This view was shared by Chart, presenting their take on LNG Intermodal transportation and mobile & relocatable systems for energy supply, also underscoring the constant and rapid development of the small-scale sector. The day concluded with Wärtsilä taking the stage to further explore the various immediate benefits offered by LNG usage, emphasizing the need for the industry to embrace them in order to prepare for broad-scale implementation.

Day 2: Forecasts and Technologies

Returning to the conference hall on the second day, GIE kicked things off with an insightful LNG market forecast, paying special attention to global trends currently influencing the situation in Europe. NGVA was up next, with a natural gas HDV outlook 2030 and some policy recommendations. The presentation came on the heels of European Parliament’s vote on its final position on the heavy-duty CO2 regulation, pushing for an emission reduction of 20% by 2025, going up to 35% in 2030. The EP also called upon the European Commission to develop a methodology by the end of 2020, set to include CO2 emission reduction effect from bioCNG and bioLNG in the computation of the average fleet emissions.

From there on it was all about the technical side of things. In a series of presentations by ASE, Emerson, Remontowa LNG Systems, Iveco, Volvo and Nauticor, the audience got the chance to explore the impact of technological advancement on the development of the LNG industry. Iveco and Volvo made the case for LNG as a clean, cost-efficient alternative to other fuels, also having the added benefit of noise reduction. Despite the higher initial cost, LNG fueled fleets pay off in the long run. Not to leave the maritime sector out, Nauticor wrapped up the session sharing their experiences and offering ways to overcome the hurdles standing in the way towards global implementation of LNG as fuel for ships, as well as giving examples of challenges that the industry already mastered.

The event ended with a discussion panel featuring Wärtsilä, Iveco, BP, Liquind and ELINOIL discussing the best path stakeholders from different industries can take to cooperate and promote the usage of LNG on a wider scale.

Looking to 2019

Next year's conference is planned for the Fall of 2019, and we are certain there will be more exciting developments to cover! To learn more about Actia Forum events, click here. For more on the Polish LNG Platform, visit their website here. To learn more about the global LNG industry and what opportunities there might be for your firm, contact us at CID here.

See you next year!

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