Total launches first LNG bunker vessel
Total has launched its first large LNG bunker vessel, following the signature of a long-term charter contract between Total and Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) in February 2018.
After delivery in 2020, the bunker vessel will operate in Northern Europe, where it will supply LNG to commercial vessels, including 300,000 t/y for CMA CGM’s nine ultra-large newbuild containerships in Europe-Asia trade, for a period of at least 10 years.
The LNG bunker vessel’s construction is in line with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) decision to drastically limit the sulphur content of marine fuels as of 2020. In this context, the transition from heavy fuel oil to LNG is a competitive and efficient solution for maritime transportation, states Total. Used as a marine fuel, LNG reduces emissions from ships, resulting in a significant improvement in air quality, particularly for communities in coastal areas and port cities. LNG helps to cut sulphur emissions by 99%, fine particle emissions by 99%, nitrogen oxide emissions by 85%, and greenhouse gases emissions by around 20%, reports the company.
‘Developing infrastructure like this giant bunker vessel is essential to allow LNG to become a widely used marine fuel,’ says Momar Nguer, President for Total Marketing & Services. ‘This first ship demonstrates our commitment to offering our customers both more environmentally friendly fuels and the associated logistics.’
Built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding at its shipyard near Shanghai, the bunker vessel is fitted with innovative tank technologies, with a capacity of 18,600 cm, provided by the French company GTT.
For more on marine fuels, and IMO, see Petroleum Review’s November 2019 and forthcoming December 2019/January 2020 issues.