ENGIE, Fluxys, Mitsubishi Corporation, and NYK have taken delivery of the world’s first purpose built liquefied natural gas 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.
As international regulations on emissions for ships tighten, LNG is expected to become an important alternative fuel for the maritime industry. Currently, the bunker market amounts to approximately 250 million tons of heavy fuel oil per year.
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. 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, the first purpose built LNG bunkering vessel, has been designed to service a variety of LNG-fueled ships.