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LNG bunkering vessel delivery marks big advance in shipping’s fuel switch

LNG bunkering vessel delivery marks big advance in shipping’s fuel switch

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ENGIE, Fluxys, Mitsubishi Corporation, and NYK have taken delivery of the world’s first purpose built liquefied natural gas bunkering vessel from South Korea’s Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction. It will run on LNG for its maiden voyage, after a few days of loading LNG delivered by trucks at the shipyard.

Zeebrugge in Belgium will be the home port of the vessel, which has been named ENGIE Zeebrugge accordingly. From there, the 5,000 cu m LNG capacity vessel will supply LNG as a marine fuel to ships operating in Northern Europe.

The two LNG-fuelled pure car and truck carriers (PCTCs) operated by United European Car Carriers will be its first customers. ENGIE Zeebrugge will load LNG at Fluxys’ LNG terminal in Zeebrugge, where small carriers with capacities from 2 000 cu m can dock at the recently commissioned second jetty.

“The challenge in making LNG grow in the bunker market is to develop sufficient supply infrastructure to support the increasing number of LNG-fueled ships that are expected to come into operation,” France’s ENGIE said in a release today.

Last September, ENGIE, Mitsubishi Corporation and NYK launched Gas4Sea, a brand name for marketing ship-to-ship LNG bunkering services worldwide, firstly via the ENGIE Zeebrugge in Northern Europe.

Under this common brand, the three partners intend to support the development of LNG as a marine fuel.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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