Gas4Sea partnership formed by Engie, Fluxys, Mitsubishi Corporation, and NYK has taken delivery of the LNG bunkering vessel Engie Zeebrugge from Hanjin Heavy at the Yeongdo shipyard in Busan, Korea.
According to a joint statement, the vessel will run on liquefied natural gas for its maiden voyage, after a few days of loading LNG delivered by trucks at the shipyard.
The 5000-cbm LNG bunkering vessel will operate from the port of Zeebrugge supplying marine fuel to ships operating in Northern Europe.
The two LNG-fueled pure car and truck carriers operated by United European Car Carriers will be its first customers, the statement reads. The vessel will load LNG at Fluxys’ LNG terminal in Zeebrugge, where small carriers with capacities from 2,000-cbm can dock at the recently commissioned second jetty.
The partnership expects the LNG to become an important alternative fuel for the maritime industry as the international regulations on emissions for ships tighten.
Currently, the bunker market amounts to approximately 250 million tons of heavy fuel oil per year, however, LNG-fueled ships have so far been dependent on fixed bunker locations and the limited capacity of LNG trailers.
Engie Zeebrugge, the first purpose-built LNG bunkering vessel, has been designed to eliminate the fixed bunkering location issue, as it is capable of servicing a variety of LNG-fueled vessels.