The purpose-built LNG bunkering vessel ENGIE Zeebrugge has performed its first delivery of LNG fuel to the LNG-powered car carriers Auto Eco and Auto Energy while docked at the port of Zeebrugge in Belgium.
The LNG bunkering operations were conducted simultaneously while cargo operations for the pure car and truck carriers (PCTCs) were taking place.
ENGIE Zeebrugge is the world’s first purpose-built LNG bunkering vessel. It arrived in Zeebrugge in early April following its 38-day maiden voyage and delivery from Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Ltd in Busan, South Korea. ENGIE Zeebrugge is now executing a weekly service to the PCTCs of UECC and is the world’s first LNG bunkering vessel to perform regular ship-to-ship bunkering services.
The vessel loads LNG bunkers at Fluxys’ LNG terminal which recently commissioned its second jetty specifically designed for also receiving very small LNG carriers.
ENGIE Zeebrugge is jointly owned by ENGIE, Mitsubishi Corporation, NYK Line, and Fluxys. With an LNG capacity of 5,000 m3, she will service all types of shipping customers in Northern Europe from her home port of Zeebrugge, under the brand Gas4Sea.
This commercial brand was launched in September 2016 by ENGIE, Mitsubishi Corporation, and NYK Line to promote and develop the use of LNG as a sustainable alternative to conventional oil-based marine fuels.
“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: industrial companies, manufacturers, regulatory bodies, port authorities, and shipping companies. 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,” the port of Zeebrugge said in a statement.