France’s Engie and its Japanese partners Mitsubishi Corporation and NYK Line have launched Gas4Sea, a new brand for joint marketing of LNG as a marine fuel.
The companies have already signed framework agreement in 2014 for a partnership in the development of LNG bunkering services.
According to the joint statement issued on Tuesday, the partners will begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2016, using a 5000-cbm LNG bunkering vessel being built at the South Korean shipyard Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction that will operate at the Belgian port of Zeebrugge, as well as other nearby ports.
The three companies intend to expand the bunkering services to other regions as they seek to cooperate further with stakeholders including shipping companies, port authorities, terminal operators, regional suppliers, and local governments and regulators.
Philip Olivier, CEO of Engie Global LNG said that partners “believe LNG has a key role to play in developing a more sustainable shipping activity.”
He said that in the coming months, the partnership will begin supplying United European Car Carriers’ new dual fuel car carriers operating in the North Sea and Baltic Sea.
Jun Nishizava, SVP and deputy COO of Mitsubishi Corporation’s natural gas business division, added that the partnership also hopes to expedite the transition of shipping companies to using liquefied natural gas as fuel.
Senior managing corporate officer at NYK Line, Hitoshi Nagasawa stressed that the use of LNG as marine fuel enables shipping companies to reduce their environmental footprint as it reduces emissions from engine exhaust enabling compliance with increasingly stringent maritime emissions regulations.