Flogas Britain and Associated British Ports (ABP) joined forces in a liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering operation at the port of Immingham.
According to a joint statement, the first ever bunkering of an LNG-fueled vessel in the UK, saw a 110-meter cement carrier Ireland refuel with liquefied natural gas via a truck-to-ship operation.
The vessel owned by JT cement, a joint venture between Erik Thun AB and KG Jebsen Cement from Norway, was built and delivered last year by the Dutch shipbuilder Ferus Smit.
Both the port operator ABP and the LNG supplier Flogas see the bunkering operation as a “step forward for maritime bunkering in the UK.”
Although only a limited number of ships currently bunker with LNG, demand is expected to grow rapidly as environmental regulations increasingly prohibit the use of polluting heavy fuel oils, the joint statement reads.
In addition, the two companies see potential to replace thousands of tonnes of heavy fuel oil each year with LNG.
Speaking of the trends, Mark Frith, port manager for ABP Immingham and Grimsby noted the “demand is already beginning to shift away from oil across the international fleet, and we very much see natural gas taking its place as the marine fuel of choice.”
With the growth of the LNG marine market, Flogas plans to invest in storage and bunkering facilities at ABP ports when required, as the truck-to-ship bunkering service covers current demand.