Last month, one of the world’s first purpose built LNG bunkering vessels, ENGIE Zeebrugge, was delivered to the Gas4Sea Partnership, a brand name generated to market ship to ship LNG bunkering services worldwide. The French energy and utility company ENGIE, Mitsubishi Corporation and NYK are the partners to this new venture which will set up shop initially to service the Port of Zeebrugge in Belgium.
Built by Hanjin Heavy Industries, Yeongdo Shipyard, Busan, South Korea
Owned by Gas4Sea Partnership
Operated by: NYK Energy Transport (Atlantic) Ltd & (NYK LNG Shipmanagement (UK) Ltd.)
GRT 7,403 tons
Capacity 5,000 CBM
Main engine: Dual Fuel (marine gas oil, marine diesel oil, and LNG)
Class: Bureau Veritas
ENGIE Zeebrugge is operating on LNG for her maiden delivery voyage to Zeebrugge via the Suez Canal. Just this week she called at the Port of Singapore’s LNG terminal hub for a recharge. The picture above right is an artist’s impression of the new vessel in operation once she arrives in Europe.
In October last year, Gas4Sea signed up the company’s first commercial customer, the Marseilles based container line CMA CGM. In Zeebrugge, two LNG fueled pure car and truck carriers (PCTC) operated by United European Car Carriers will be the first customers in the company’s ambitious plans to develop a comprehensive European LNG bunkering chain and gradually displace the global heavy fuel bunker market of around 250 million tons per year as low sulphur fuel standards tighten up.
The chicken and egg nature of the challenge in growing LNG in the global bunker market is to develop a credible supply infrastructure to support the increasing number of LNG fueled ships that will undoubtedly come into operation over the next decade. In this respect ENGIE Zeebrugge marks something of a milestone since LNG fueled ships have thus far been largely dependent on fixed bunker locations or the limited bunkering capacity of LNG trailers.
In the Baltic Sea, Viking Line’s super ferry Viking Grace which entered service in January 2013, recently recorded a milestone with the 1000th ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operation using a dedicated bunkering vessel operated by Seagas – picture above.
Ship of the Week contributed by Captain Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.