World's first purpose-built LNG bunkering vessel arrives at home port

Vessel will be used to supply LNG bunkers to ships operating in northern Europe.

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Updated on 03 Apr 2017 00:02 GMT

The world's first purpose-built liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering vessel, the Engie Zeebrugge, arrived at its home port, Zeebrugge, on 1st April.

Back in February, Engie, Fluxys, Mitsubishi Corporation, and NYK Line took delivery of the vessel from Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Ltd, at the Yeongdo shipyard in Busan, South Korea.

The tanker departed from Busan on 23rd February and is said to have run on LNG for its maiden voyage after loading product in a truck-to-ship LNG operation at the South Korean shipyard.

The 5,000-cubic-metre-LNG-capacity bunkering vessel will be used to supply LNG as a marine fuel to ships operating in northern Europe. Two LNG-fuelled pure car and truck carriers (PCTCs) operated by United European Car Carriers (UECC) - including the recently named MV Auto Eco - are expected to be its first customers.

The Engie Zeebrugge will load LNG at Fluxys' LNG terminal in Zeebrugge, where small carriers with capacities from 2,000 cubic metres can dock at the recently commissioned second jetty.

As Bunker Index reported last week, Fluxys believes the second jetty is "a milestone in the development of small-scale LNG and in particular the development of LNG as a ship fuel". With the new jetty now in operation, small bunker vessels will be able to berth, load LNG and then resupply to other LNG-powered vessels or small bunker terminals.

Last September, Engie, Mitsubishi Corporation and NYK launched 'Gas4Sea', a brand name for their joint LNG bunkering business. It was the result of a framework agreement signed by the three companies back in 2014 to form a partnership to provide LNG bunkering services.

Engie Zeebrugge - vessel details:

Length overall: 107.60 metres

Breadth: 18.40 metres

Depth: 9.00 metres

LNG capacity: 5,000 cubic metres

Gross tonnage: 7,403 tonnes

Main engine: Dual fuel (marine gas oil, marine diesel oil, and LNG)

Country flag: Belgium

Class: Bureau Veritas

Shipyard: Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Ltd., Yeongdo Shipyard (Busan)

Ship management: NYK Energy Transport (Atlantic) Ltd. (NYK LNG Shipmanagement (UK) Ltd.)

Image: The Engie Zeebrugge at its home port, Zeebrugge, on 1st April 2017.