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Total and MOL sign charter contract for 'pioneer' LNG bunker supply vessel

Total to focus on supplying large quantities of LNG to boxships, including CMA CGM's newbuild ULCVs.



Takeshi Hashimoto, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Energy Transport Business Unit at MOL, and Olivier Jouny, managing director of Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions (TMFGS), sign LNG bunker vessel charter agreement. Image credit: Total


Updated on 06 Feb 2018 11:33 GMT

Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions (TMFGS) and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) have announced that they have signed a long-term charter contract for a large, 18,600-cubic-metre-capacity, "pioneer" LNG bunker vessel to be delivered in 2020.

The vessel is to operate in northern Europe and, according to a statement, "will be the first ever capable of supplying large quantities of LNG in one single bunkering operation".

The new ship is set to trump the capacity of the world's first purpose-built LNG bunkering vessel, Gas4Sea's Engie Zeebrugge, which currently operates in the north European port of Zeebrugge and has the capacity to hold up to 5,000 cubic metres (cbm).

It will also beat the 7,500-cbm capacity of the gas supply vessel developed by Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) and Babcock International Group, which is to be chartered by LNG bunker supplier Nauticor and will also operate in north Europe later this year.

With this vessel, TMFGS says it intends to focus on serving the emerging LNG market for the container ships segment, including those sailing on the Europe-Asia trade. In particular, it is to be used to supply CMA CGM's newbuild LNG mega-container ships; TMFGS signed a 10-year, 300,000-tonne-per-annum supply contract with the boxship operator in December 2017.

The 135-metre-long vessel is described as being "highly manoeuvrable", designed to operate safely in harbours and terminals, and built to meet the highest environmental standards through the use of LNG as fuel and a complete reliquefaction of the boil-off gas. It is to be built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in China and fitted with the Mark III membrane containment system provided by French tank specialist GTT.

Once completed, the newbuild will be managed by MOL (Europe Africa) Ltd - a UK subsidiary of MOL.

In addition to the bunker vessel deal, MOL and TMFGS also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to combine their expertise in the development of marine LNG infrastructures and serving MOL's future LNG needs.

Commenting on the news, Olivier Jouny, managing director of TMFGS, remarked: "We are very proud to partner with MOL for our first LNG bunker vessel. Their track record in LNG shipping already includes major achievements with Total. Combined with our strong historical activity in the bunker industry and our global footprint in LNG, this pioneer agreement offers a major contribution to the development of LNG as a marine fuel and illustrates Total's strong commitment towards the use of this new fuel."

Takeshi Hashimoto, MOL Senior Managing Executive Officer, Energy Transport Business Unit, said: "We are delighted to be selected as a partner of Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions for their first LNG bunker vessel. This is a key milestone for MOL and also a stepping stone to further enhancement of the two companies' relationship of not only in conventional fuels but also LNG as a marine fuel. We are confident that our joint technical and operational expertise will contribute positively to this new business development."






Related Links:

LNG bunkers 'our main focus': TMFGS CEO Olivier Jouny
Total to supply CMA CGM with 3m tonnes of LNG bunkers over 10 years
Total in tie-up to supply ferry with LNG bunkers via tank containers
Total, Pavilion sign LNG bunkering MoU for Singapore
Total named CMA CGM's multifuel supplier in three-year deal
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