ITSAS GAS, owned by the Basque Energy Agency (the Basque Government’s energy agency), Remolcadores Ibaizabal and Naviera Murueta, carried out the first ship-to-ship pilot test of LNG bunkering in the port of Bilbao. It is the first time that this type of bunkering operation has been carried out in the entire Atlantic Arc and the Mediterranean, and represents a milestone in the progress towards a cleaner energy supply in the marine sector, which is very dependent on petroleum derivatives.
This pilot test, which transferred approximately 90 m3 of LNG, was carried out from the Oizmendi vessel to a cement ship in transit -client of Molgas- moored at the port. With this, a new natural gas supply service has started for those vessels powered by LNG that do not have a wide network of bunkering facilities in European ports.
In this context, the Basque Country leads three LNG implementation projects in the maritime field, which will receive funds from the European Commission through the Core LNGas Hive project, in which the Port Authority of Bilbao also participates. Specifically, the EC will award 4.85 million euros added to the 9.7 million initially invested by ITSAS GAS and its partners.
The Oizmendi, previously called Monte Arucas, was converted in order to be equipped with two large LNG tanks, along with the conventional fuel oil tanks. The works were carried out during seven months at the Murueta Shipyard and included, among other equipment, the installation of two LNG tanks of 300 m3 to supply the ships. ITSAS GAS investment in this conversion amounts to 5.5 million euros.
Source: Port of Bilbao