The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to provide €20m to the Public Gas Corporation of Greece (DEPA) to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering vessel in Piraeus, Greece.

The 3,000m3 vessel will be filled with LNG at the Revithoussa LNG terminal. The vessel will fuel ships at Piraeus and other Greek ports.

The vessel will support cleaner and more competitive maritime transportation in the eastern Mediterranean.

This is expected to help transition towards green shipping as the vessel will use fuels that comply with the new stringent international regulations.

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DEPA Board of Directors president Ioannis Papadopoulos said: “The new financing from the EIB, the largest investment arm of Europe, is yet one more vote of confidence to the growth prospects of the Greek economy and confirms the significant improvement of the investment climate.”

Offered by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the loan amount will cover 50% of the vessel construction cost.

DEPA also received an additional €8.9m from BlueHUBS, the European Action under the European Union.

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Papadopoulos added: “Furthermore, this is a ‘green’ investment, which paves the way for cleaner and more competitive maritime transport in the eastern Mediterranean, contributing to the reduction of the country’s environmental footprint, in accordance with the ambitious targets set by the new National Plan for Energy and Climate.”

In November 2019, EIB agreed to support the expansion and modernisation of the Port of Piraeus in Greece by offering a loan of €140m.

The 20-year loan will support the development of a new port logistics centre and construction of a new cruise passenger handling facility at the Port of Piraeus.