28/12/2015 | Fred Olsen

Fred. Olsen Express is involved on the GAINN projects to facilitate the introduction of LNG fuel into the EU


  • The GAINN project development process will include engineering studies and pilot tests related to LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) supply and the retrofitting of ships to run on LNG fuel


  • Thanks to these projects, vessels’ greenhouse gas emissions will be cut by approximately 20% and sulphur emissions by 80%


On 13th October of this year, the first internal technical meeting for the "GAINN" projects (GAINN4SHIP INNOVATION and GAINN4MOS) was held.

Both projects are co-financed by the European Commission through the CEF (Connecting Europe Facility) programme. They share the common aim of producing results that provide support to European Union (EU) member state legislators as well as to port authorities and shipowners operating in several European Mediterranean countries and Portugal, helping them to comply with environmental regulations in the most efficient way possible.

One aspect of these regulations deals with the maximum sulphur content (0.5%) for fuels used by shipowners operating in territorial waters of the EU and exclusive economic zones, from 2020 onwards (MARPOL Convention Annex VI - Directive 2012/33 / EU). Furthermore, the regulations set out the appropriate number of liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply points that need to be installed in the main EU ports in order for LNG-fuelled vessels to travel the Ten-T network as of 2025 (Directive 2014/94 / EU and Clean Power for Transport Package).

With respect to these regulations, the use of LNG as a fuel for ships has been identified as one of the most promising available approaches. Accordingly, this strategic option is currently being promoted by many member states as well as by the European Commission as part of its Clean Power for Transport Package.

To this end, the GAINN projects are to include actions focused on analysing and identifying the best option that would allow ports to provide LNG supply services, as well as actions aimed at designing and building such supply facilities. The projects also include engineering studies on adapting ships to reduce their emissions to the desired level, pilot tests to retrofit and improve various types of vessels, and actions addressing the installation of scrubbers in addition to retrofitting or building new boats that comply with this regulatory framework.

The GAINN projects will promote sea and land transport that is greener, more secure and more sustainable. They will do so by reducing operating costs associated with fuel consumption by 30%, through prototype retrofits of the ships forming part of the projects. They will also reduce greenhouse gases emissions by about 20% and sulphur emissions by 80%.

The participating partners in GAINN4SHIP INNOVATION are Valenciaport Foundation (coordinator); Fred. Olsen, S.A., The International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering – CIMNE, the Port Authority of Valencia and the Ministerio de Fomento – Dirección General de la Marina Mercante (Ministry of Development - Directorate General for Merchant Shipping).

GAINN4MOS involves 20 partners from six EU member states (Slovenia, Italy, France, Croatia, Portugal and Spain).