Another milestone for the establishment of LNG as marine fuel in Germany has been achieved, as Nauticor successfully conducted the first ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operation in a German port. The trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) Scheldt River received the low emission fuel from the world’s largest bunker supply vessel (BSV) Kairos. This vessel, which was christened in Hamburg on February 2019, is owned by Babcock Schulte Energy and is operated on behalf of the German LNG supplier Nauticor.
In total, the TSHD Scheldt River received 300 cbm of LNG at the Elbehafen Brunsbüttel, part of Brunsbüttel Ports GmbH. Scheldt River is owned and operated by the DEME Group and is currently conducting maintenance dredging works on the Lower Elbe. In the past, the vessel has received LNG from Nauticor through truck-to-ship bunkering operations. In the beginning of October 2019, the DEME Group and Nauticor signed a framework agreement for the supply of LNG with the BSV Kairos to DEME’s fleet of newbuild vessels with LNG propulsion. The first ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operation in a German port marks the start for an ex tended cooperation.
“Our team has been able to achieve another milestone in the development of a comprehensive LNG supply infrastructure with the successful execution of the first ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operation in Germany. The operations with the world’s largest LNG BSV Kairos allow for flexible, safe, and efficient supply of the environmentally -friendly fuel to marine customers. A variety of marine customers are already utilizing this service, including product tankers, container vessels, ferries, and special purpose vessels, such as the trailing suction hopper dredger Scheldt River,” said Mahinde Abeynaike, CEO of Nauticor.
“DEME is continuously working on increasing the efficiency of its services for customers with the aim to improve productivity and reduce the impact on the environment. The use of LNG as fuel allows us to reduce the emissions from our vessels significantly. Having conducted truck-to-ship LNG bunkering operations so far, bunkering of the environmentally-friendly fuel from BSVs, such as Kairos, marks another milestone in the use of LNG as maritime fuel,” commented Thorsten Fitzner, Operations Manager for DEME in Germany.
“The first LNG ship-to-ship bunkering operation in the Elbehafen is a confirmation of our activities to establish Brunsbüttel as the leading LNG hub in Germany. The port and industrial location Brunsbüttel fulfills all necessary requirements for LNG related activities including use, handling, storage, and bunkering operations. After having several truck-to-ship LNG bunkering operations on our premises, we have now been able to prove that ship-to-ship operations are possible in our port as well,” added Frank Schnabel, Managing Director Brunsbüttel Ports GmbH/SCHRAMM group.
In the meantime, the German LNG Terminal GmbH continues to plan activities for a combined LNG import and distribution terminal in Brunsbüttel. In the future, the supply of LNG to marine customers would profit from the existence of such a terminal, since it is foreseen that LNG bunker supply vessels, such as Kairos, can load LNG as cargo directly at the terminal.