Elengy’s Montoir de Bretagne LNG terminal and Nantes ‐ Saint Nazaire Port will be rolling out ship‐to‐ship (STS) transfer services starting this summer. Following the launch of the LNG reloading service in 2012, Elengy is now responding to market demand for direct ship‐to‐ship transfer between two tankers. STS transfers can be safely carried out in 48 hours.
Starting in 2017, future LNG production in the Arctic region will require STS transfers year‐round in order to reach remote markets. An ideal location in Europe is being sought where cargos can be transferred from Ice Class LNG tankers to standard tankers. Elengy is preparing to upgrade its facilities so it can offer 24‐hour STS transfer services in order to meet this substantial need. The port’s location on the Atlantic coast, featuring favourable conditions, good fairway capacity and solid terminal infrastructure are all key features in capturing what could be up to 5 mtpa of new traffic.
Terminal capable of receiving two LNG tankers simultaneously
With an annual regasification capacity of 10 billion cubic metres, the Montoir de Bretagne LNG terminal has been contributing to Europe’s natural gas supply for more than 30 years. Connected to the GRTgaz gas pipeline network, it serves the northern half of France and is a potential point of entry to northwest Europe. It currently has three 120,000 m 3 tanks. Certified ISRS 8 ©, level 7 *1, the terminal has two berths fitted with unloading arms suitable for all types of tankers. Since commissioning in 1980, the terminal has had 2,523 import calls and 11 export calls, receiving more than 100 different ships, i.e. a quarter of the global LNG tanker fleet. It can receive Q‐Max tankers, the largest ships currently in service (length: 345m; beam: 54m; draught: 12m; capacity: 265,000m 3).
The terminal’s two jetties mean two tankers can moor simultaneously. The STS transfer service uses direct connections so that the transferred LNG is not mixed or stored in the terminal’stanks. In other words, the terminal’sregasification capacity is not affected.
The benefits of Nantes ‐ Saint Nazaire Por: ideal weather and marine conditions
Located on the Atlantic coast between Cape Finisterre (in northwest Spain) and Finistère (westernmost point of France), Nantes ‐ Saint Nazaire Port enjoys ideal access conditions. The port is sheltered from the swells of the continental shelf and has low fog levels. Weather conditions are characterised by forecastable windy periods that clear up quickly and some of the lowest levels of lightning strike sin the country.
Clauses pertaining to LNG tanker navigation, such as traffic priorities and berthing conditions, have been incorporated in the Loire estuary police regulations. Vessel calls are managed via a computer tool and require high‐level piloting, towing and mooring services. Maritime pilots on the Loire have access to a simulator with a 360° screen they can use to test out new ships at the terminals, including LNG tankers.