LNG Bunker Vessel Marseille Completes Sea Trials Ahead of Deployment in France
The first LNG bunker vessel to be based in France has successfully completed sea and gas trials, marking another step towards the delivery and operational start-up.
The new vessel, named Marseille, is TotalEnergies Marine Fuels’ second collaboration with shipowner Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) and shipbuilder, Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding.
TotalEnergies Marine Fuels and MOL signed a long-term charter contract in November 2019 and construction started in April 2020.
The 18,600-m³ capacity vessel was first launched from the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in China at the end of April 2021.
In June, sea trials were conducted off Shanghai where the new vessel’s navigation and propulsion systems were successfully tested, including speed and maneuverability assessments at open sea. Gas trials were completed in early July, under the attendance of the ship management team.
Due to go into operational service in the final quarter of 2021, the vessel will be operated by V-Ships France, under the French flag and will be based in the Port of Marseille-Fos, Southern France, to serve the Mediterranean region.
The vessel's first contracts will be to perform LNG bunkering services to CMA CGM’s LNG-fuelled containerships and MSC Cruises’ upcoming LNG-powered cruise ships that call at the French port.
According to TotalEnergies, the new vessel will incorporate enhanced equipment boosting its bunkering efficiency and flexibility to supply LNG to a wide range of vessels across various segments and sizes.
The vessel's improved features include an additional bow thruster, upgraded cargo pumps and high duty compressors, as well as a pressure reduction system to optimize bunkering operations of ‘Type C’ tank vessels under all conditions.
TotalEnergies says that the 135 meters long, GTT Mark III membrane vessel will meet "the highest technical and environmental standards" itself using LNG as propulsion fuel and integrating a complete re-liquefaction of the boil-off gas.
“We are excited to be at the forefront of making LNG bunkering capabilities readily available in France and the Mediterranean region,” said Jérôme Leprince-Ringuet, Vice-President Marine Fuels at TotalEnergies. “With shipping’s accelerating transition to this cleaner marine fuel, we look forward to providing our customers with another major European hub for their LNG bunkering needs.”
By the end of 2021, TotalEnergies Marine Fuels will charter two LNG bunkering vessels in Rotterdam and Marseille and share the use of a third bunker vessel in Singapore. In February 2021, the Singapore entity of TotalEnergies Marine Fuels also received a license from the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to supply LNG in the Port of Singapore from 2022.