Belgium’s port of Zeebrugge has started offering ship-to-ship liquefied natural (LNG) bunkering service.
The LNG bunkering vessel Engie Zeebrugge recently performed its first deliveries to the LNG-powered pure car and truck carriers Auto ECO and Auto Energy, both owned by UECC.
The LNG bunkering operations were conducted at the same time that the cargo operations for the PCTCs were taking place.
Engie Zeebrugge is jointly owned by Engie, Mitsubishi Corporation, NYK Line, and Fluxys.
The 5,000-cbm vessel will service all types of shipping customers in Northern Europe from her home port of Zeebrugge, under the brand Gas4Sea.
Gas4Sea was launched in September 2016 by Engie, Mitsubishi and NYK to promote and develop the use of LNG as a sustainable alternative to conventional oil-based marine fuels.
Engie Zeebrugge is the world’s first LNG bunkering vessel to perform regular ship-to-ship bunkering services, according to a statement by the Gas4Sea JV.
The LNG bunkering vessel arrived in Zeebrugge in the beginning of April after its delivery from Hanjin Heavy Industries in Busan, South Korea.
Engie Zeebrugge loads LNG at Fluxys’ terminal which recently commissioned its second jetty specifically designed for receiving small LNG carriers.
The first ship-to-ship bunkering operations are a key milestone in the development of the nascent LNG bunkering market, which needs the collaboration of many stakeholders to gain a foothold, the statement reads.
The joint efforts of the companies and authorities involved seek to curb carbon and health impacting emissions in shipping and come in support of the European alternative fuels strategy for sustainable mobility, it added.