A unit of French energy giant Total and Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) have signed a long-term charter contract for a large liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker vessel.
The vessel that will have a capacity of 18,600 cbm is scheduled for delivery in 2020.
It will operate in Northern Europe and will be the “first ever capable of supplying large quantities of LNG in one single bunkering operation,” the duo said in a joint statement.
With this vessel, Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions intends to serve the emerging marine LNG market for the container ships segment, including those sailing on the Europe-Asia trade.
The vessel will be used in particular to supply CMA CGM’s new build LNG mega container ships, following the 10 years contract of 300 kt per annum signed with TMFGS in December 2017, the statement said.
The bunker vessel will be built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in China and fitted with the Mark III membrane containment system provided by the French company GTT.
Highly manoeuvrable by design, with a length of about 135 meters, she will be able to operate safely in the considered harbours and terminals, the statement said.
The vessel “will meet the highest environmental standards through the use of LNG as fuel and a complete reliquefaction of the boil-off gas,” it said.
The newbuild vessel will be managed by MOL (Europe Africa) Ltd, a UK subsidiary of MOL.
The two companies hailed this deal as a significant milestone in the cooperation between them, with developments in both conventional fuels and LNG ahead of 2020 IMO sulphur regulations.
The duo has also signed a memorandum of understanding to combine their expertise in the development of marine LNG infrastructures and serve MOL future LNG needs.
“We are very proud to partner with MOL for our first LNG bunker vessel. Their track record in LNG shipping already includes major achievements with Total. Combined with our strong historical activity in the bunker industry and our global footprint in LNG, this pioneer agreement offers a major contribution to the development of LNG as a marine fuel and illustrates Total’s strong commitment towards the use of this new fuel,” said Olivier Jouny, managing director of TMFGS.