Earlier this year, the Port of Dunkirk (France) issued a Call for Expressions of Interest (CEI) for the setup of a marine bunkering and on-land supply chain of small-scale LNG. Now, the Dunkerque LNG – Air Liquide – Exmar consortium has organized and presented the project. For the on-land supply, Dunkerque LNG and Air Liquide will be responsible for the preliminary studies, the engineering and the investments. Gaz-Opale, a subsidiary of Dunkerque LNG operating the LNG terminal, will operate the on-land installation.
Regarding marine bunkering, Dunkerque LNG will be in charge of the initial studies, the engineering and the investments for the installations to transfer LNG from the terminal network connection as far as the loading arm. Exmar, for its part, will handle the preliminary studies, the engineering and the building of a bunkering ship with a capacity to be defined according to LNG requirements as identified during the initialization phase. Its operation will be assigned to Exmar Shipmanagement (a subsidiary of Exmar).
During the first phase the loading arms and the main wharf of the LNG terminal, currently under construction, will be adapted to rapidly allow LNG supply to ships with capacities of up to 2,000 m3. In a second phase the consortium plans to build a marine station specifically dedicated to bunkering, which could accommodate ships with capacities of between 2,000 and 20,000 m3, operated by Gaz-Opale. During a later phase they also plan to build a bunkering barge which could supply vessels on the inland waterway networks.
Moreover, Ulsan Metropolitan City (Korea) is looking to develop an LNG bunkering facility at the Port of Ulsan and will undergo a preliminary feasibility study next year to assess this initiative. It will spur the study as it is expected that the number of LNG-powered vessels will increase as well as demand for LNG bunkering based on stabilization of LNG prices, which is attributable to International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) reinforcement of regulation on marine and port sector.
The Ulsan city also indicated that vessels, which arrive at and depart from Ulsan port, will be replaced with LNG-powered ones. So, it is also reportedly imperative to establish a fuel supply facility and select its location. The city also plans to sign a memorandum of understanding with Korea Gas Corporation and LNG bunkering consultative group within this year, and then commence the preliminary study.