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Compressed Natural Gas Transport System

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - GASVESSEL (Compressed Natural Gas Transport System)

Reporting period: 2020-06-01 to 2022-03-31

Gasvessel project is addressed to the following problems of strategic importance:
- EU dependency from a single gas supplier providing different source of energy supply
- Gas sources nowadays not utilised such as stranded gas reservoirs (too small to justify large investments for pipelines and for liquefaction/regassification plants) and flared gas coming from oil wells that nowadays is directly burnt into the atmosphere without producing any energy but increasing air pollution.
- Some areas of EU are out of the gas delivery systems (Greek Islands, Sardinia, Corsica, etc) thus being dependant on carbon and oil.
The project proposes a solution in order to reduce EU gas dependency, to utilise the stranded and flared gas, which represents about 5 times the volume of the gas currently used in Europe, and to allow a wider gas distribution.
All the tasks were planned and followed by a constant project management, supported by the detailed plan for Exploitation and Dissemination.
During the 58 months of project duration all work packages have been fully completed. The main result reached were:
Full completion (design, construction, erection, testing and commissioning) of hydroforming equipment, winding machine, curing plant, fatigue and burst tests equipment.
Achieved complete knowledge of the technological behaviour of the stainless steel for the liners construction.
Identification of the necessary quality of carbon-fibre filament and resins suitable for the realization of the pressure cylinders
Validation of the welding process and methods for liners construction
Development to completion of the carbon-fibre filament winding optimization software
Built and tested in total 11 liners/cylinders and got from partner ABS the approval letter of the product. The tests performed, and the satisfactory results obtained confirmed the validity of the construction process of the CNG Cylinders.
Identified the 3 geo-logistic scenarios and realized the Decision Support Model
Got the approval letter from ABS of the CNG Ship basic design

Complete picture of the loading/unloading appliances referred to the three scenarios, including evaluation of estimated costs, and development of software tool for the design and operation of said appliances.
Made available the data base for the cost-benefit analysis, the comparison between CNG, pipeline and LNG and the profitability assessment.

The partners of the Gasvessel project timely issued and uploaded on EU portal all the expected 34 Deliverables and achieved the 9 foreseen Milestones.
Exploitation phases follow the road map outlined in the Grant Agreement at the time. The exploitation is divided into four steps of about two years duration each, that are:
1. Proved business concept: this step is covered by the GASVESSEL project development time where the concept was proven to be feasible granting, from the cost-benefit analysis done, satisfactory return of investment and attractive gas transportation tariffs.
2. First market introduction: expected duration of the step is evaluated in 2 years starting from the availability of certification for market introduction. Certification available by the end of March 2022. It is expected that the investment for an industrial production facility of CNG Cylinders is realized in the period for waterborne transportation and/or starting CNG Cylinders production in a limited number for multi-modal transportation, using the existing equipment of the prototyping pilot line.
3. Expanding market penetration: once the first market introduction phase is over the strategy will be to expand market penetration to other EU or not EU scenarios to maximize profitability in the chosen geographic scenarios to secure investment both in CNG Cylinders production expansion and CNG Ships building. With the first market introduction results at hand, access to capital for further expansion of production capacity is expected to become more feasible and will be investigated,
4. Further up scaling (investment) of production capacity: with the market uptake phase in full swing and the acceptance of the new CNG routes by end-users, the strategy will focus on the potential up scaling of production capacity to meet higher global market demands and production levels.
In the current situation of unexpected increase in energy costs, aggravated by the ongoing war events, it is extremely important to seize the opportunities offered by the GASVESSEL System to integrate energy supplies to European countries.
The GASVESSEL creates direct opportunities for a Mediterranean gas hub in the South of Europe. For the scope, the project supports the European engagement in an active energy dialogue at political level with partners of the Med coastal States.
Through the proof-of-concept, that includes the full cost-benefit analysis and the comparison to current systems (pipeline and LNG), GASVESSEL proved the techno-economic feasibility of the CNG transport concept in a frame of safety standards incorporated in the design of CNG Ship, Pressure Cylinders and loading and unloading facilities according with the Rules and Regulations and Classification Society review, thus encouraging future investments.
The GASVESSEL project has a widespread economic impact throughout all sector of the economy and across different European countries. These impacts result directly from the employment and production within the gas industry, indirectly through the gas industry’s purchases and capital goods from a variety of other industries. Induced impact measured as the jobs, labor income and value added resulting from household spending of income earned, either directly or indirectly, from the gas industry spending.

The results achieved in the context of the GASVESSEL project have a direct positive impact on the waterborne and multi-modal transport introducing the opportunities to overcome the traditional barriers between transport modes.
Marine CNG is a simple, safe, reliable and flexible solution delivering netbacks in regional markets as compared to pipeline or LNG/FLNG for distances up to 2500- 3000 km. If the distance is greater than the ones mentioned above, LNG will be the best choice.
GASVESSEL contribute to the pollution reduction of all three environmental media: air, soil and water.
The traditional energy sources largely contribute to the total greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions causing mainly air pollution. The conversion to natural gas (even if not completely eco-friendly) will greatly reduce the air pollution, in the transition phase towards renewable energy sources.
Furthermore, premature deaths engendered by pollutant emissions and annual expenditure for health issues should be softened.
Having the afore mentioned aspects in perspective, natural gas is proven to be accepted as a reliable energy source to accelerate the energy transition of any country, not only in terms of lower emissions and good operational flexibility in energy production, but as well, as an important energy source for final consumption, especially in the residential sector.
On the political side, it will be desirable to achieve a harmonization of the applicable regulations to better exploit the multi-modal characteristics of the GASVESSEL system
Of importance for the large-scale development of GASVESSEL technology, is a future study for the full automation of the industrial production process of the CNG Cylinders.
CNG Ship display model
CNG cylinder on winding completion phase with impregnated carbon fiber
3 Geo-logistic Scenarios
Liner hydroforming process