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DNV GL opens new maritime gas centre in Piraeus

The location of the centre reflects expectations that gas logistics in Greece will grow faster than in most countries in the next few years

Specialised hub is part of the class society’s expansion in Greece, seen as a key emerging gas shipping market

DNV GL has established a regional maritime gas centre in Piraeus, which acts as head office for the Southeast Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

The facility was announced at the classification society’s offices in the Greek port city by Norway’s ambassador to Greece, Fronde Overland Andersen.

The new group would “cover the whole range of gas services and disciplines”, said Mr Andersen.

“It can help drive regional growth in the gas segment and support local markets,” he said.

The Piraeus gas hub will have an initial staff with an aggregate of 60 years’ experience and can draw on plentiful expertise from other offices.

“Gas is something we know in Norway for many years,” he said, underlining the country’s role as a major supplier of natural gas to the European Union.

Regional manager Ioannis Chiotopoulos said that the launch of the centre was “a vote of confidence from Oslo.”

The location of the centre reflected expectations that gas logistics in Greece will grow faster than in most countries in the next few years, as well as the increased importance of Greek shipping in the liquefied natural gas segment, in particular.

The Southeast Europe, Middle East and Africa region covers more than 20 countries, including some of the “most challenging” markets, he said.

Greece has been given the status of “third home market” by the classification society, following Norway and Germany, the traditional bases for DNV and Germanischer Lloyd prior to the formation of DNV GL.

Mr Chiotopoulos said that the society’s market share had expanded in the last four years from 15% of the Greek-owned fleet under its class in 2015 to 19% at the end of 2019.

The share of newbuilding contracting in the region and specifically in Greece has also been growing, said Leonidas Karystios, regional business development & gas segment director.

He said that more than 27% of Greek-owned vessels on order were being constructed to DNV GL class, or 23% in terms of tonnage.

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