Italy’s Fratelli Cosulich has made a step forward in the process to enter the Italian LNG bunker market by taking a stake in GnlMed, a purpose built joint venture previously 50-50 controlled by Novella (physical supplier in the port of Genoa today) and Autogas.
Andrea Cosulich, chairman of GnlMed, confirmed to Splash that Fratelli Cosulich “has a 33% stake” and now the company “will go on looking for a dedicated loan and the right shipyard to build a new LNG tanker. We already have the project and the technical details for the vessel but we are still waiting to know from the local authorities in Genoa and in the Liguria region where the LNG storage terminal will be located”.
As for the shipyard Cosulich added: “We are looking at those few shipbuilders with some experience and references in making LNG bunker tanker”. Among them there are Damen, Keppel and Wartsila. The size of the newbuilding will be 7,500 mc capacity.
Cosulich and Novella groups had already been working together for a while with the aim to provide LNG to the port of Genoa and Italian oil major Eni was also invited to take part to the project, while Autogas Group will be the partner in charge for inland distribution of the gas.
MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises and some other ferry companies have asked the local port authority to speed up any potential project aimed at giving shipping companies the possibility to receive LNG from bunker barges.