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Total launches huge-capacity LNG bunker vessel

Ship to supply CMA CGM's ultra-large newbuild boxships as part of 3m-tonne agreement.

Image credit: Total

Updated on 18 Oct 2019 13:04 GMT

Total has announced the launch of its new LNG bunker vessel, which is due to begin operating in northern Europe next year.

The 18,600-cubic-metre-capacity ship trumps the capacity of the world's first purpose-built LNG bunkering vessel, Gas4Sea's Engie Zeebrugge, which operates in the north European port of Zeebrugge and has the capacity to hold up to 5,000 cubic metres (cbm).

It also beats the 7,500-cbm capacity of the Kairos gas supply vessel developed by Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) and Babcock International Group, which is chartered by LNG bunker supplier Nauticor and also operates in north Europe.

With this vessel, bunker arm Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions (TMFGS) intends to focus on supplying LNG to the container ship 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 built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in China and fitted with the Mark III membrane containment system provided by French tank specialist GTT.

TMFGS signed a long-term contract with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) to charter the ship in early 2018. The vessel is to be managed by MOL (Europe Africa) Ltd - a UK subsidiary of MOL.

"Developing infrastructure like this giant bunker vessel is essential to allow LNG to become a widely used marine fuel," said Momar Nguer, President for Total Marketing & Services.

"This first ship demonstrates our commitment to offering our customers both more environmentally friendly fuels and the associated logistics. Thanks to this pioneering investment, Total is making a positive contribution to the sustainable evolution of global shipping."

Total claims to be second-largest private global LNG player with LNG sales of 22m tonnes in 2018, an overall global portfolio of around 40m tonnes per year by 2020, and a global market share of 10 percent.

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