LNG bunkering vessel completes first loading operation in Zeebrugge

Engie Zeebrugge to supply LNG to vessels operated by United European Car Carriers.

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Updated on 07 Apr 2017 14:42 GMT

The world's first purpose-built liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering vessel, the Engie Zeebrugge, has completed the first loading operation at its home port of Zeebrugge, just a few days after arriving in Belgium for the first time on 1st April.

The loading was performed at Fluxys' LNG terminal in Zeebrugge, where small carriers with capacities from 2,000 cubic metres can dock at the recently launched 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.

Back in February, vessel owners Engie, Fluxys, Mitsubishi Corporation, and NYK Line took delivery of the Engie Zeebrugge 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 during its maiden voyage after loading product in a truck-to-ship LNG operation at the South Korean shipyard.

Two LNG-fuelled pure car and truck carriers (PCTCs) operated by United European Car Carriers (UECC) are to be the first customers of the new 5,000-cubic-metre-LNG-capacity bunkering vessel.

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.

Image: The Engie Zeebrugge at its home port, Zeebrugge.