ENGIE, Fluxys, Mitsubishi Corporation, and NYK have taken delivery of the world’s first purpose built LNG bunkering vessel (LBV) from Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Ltd., at the Yeongdo shipyard in Busan, Korea. She will run on LNG for her 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 m3 LNG capacity LBV will supply LNG as a marine fuel to ships operating in Northern Europe. The two LNG-fueled pure car and truck carriers (PCTC) 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 m3 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 likely to come into operation. ENGIE Zeebrugge, in this respect, marks a milestone in the development of the European LNG bunkering chain. While LNG-fueled ships up to now have been largely dependent on fixed bunker locations or the limited bunkering capacity of LNG trailers, ENGIE Zeebrugge has been designed to service a variety of LNG-fueled ships.
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, thus contributing to an environmentally friendly maritime industry.