World’s First Purpose-Built LNG Bunkering Vessel Delivered

The ENGIE Zeebrugge will run on LNG for her maiden voyage, after a few days of loading LNG delivered by trucks at the shipyard.
The ENGIE Zeebrugge will run on LNG for her maiden voyage, after a few days of loading LNG delivered by trucks at the shipyard. Photo: ENGIE

The new Gas4Sea partnership has taken delivery of the world’s first purpose-built LNG bunkering vessel from Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction in South Korea.

Gas4Sea is made of French energy and utility company, ENGIE and Jopan’s Mitsubishi Corporation and NYK Line.

The dual-fueled Engie Zeebrugge will be hompeported at the port of Zeebrugge in Belgium. From there, the 5,000 m3 LNG capacity LNG Bunkering Vessel (LBV) will supply LNG bunker fuel to ships operating in Northern Europe. The two LNG-fueled pure car and truck carriers (PCTC) operated by United European Car Carriers will be its first customers.

She will run on LNG for her maiden voyage from South Korea after a few days of loading LNG delivered by trucks at HHIC’s Yeongdo shipyard, where the vessel was constructed.

Photo credit: ENGIE
Photo credit: ENGIE

The ENGIE Zeebrugge will load LNG fuel at Fluxys’ LNG terminal in Zeebrugge, where small carriers with capacities from 2 000 m3 can dock at the recently commissioned second jetty.

Last September, ENGIE, Mitsubishi Corporation and NYK launched “Gas4Sea”, a brand name to market ship-to-ship LNG bunkering services worldwide, first via the ENGIE Zeebrugge in Northern Europe. The brand signed its first customer, French container shipping group CMA CGM, in October. 

The delivery of the Engie Zeebrugge comes amid more stringent emission regulations for ships. As from January 2015, regulatory emission limits for SOx have been reduced by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) from 1.0% to 0.1% in so-called Emission Control Areas (ECAs, which include the North Sea, the Baltic Sea area and areas around North America). More recently, according to a decision by IMO, emission limits for SOx will be reduced outside the ECAs from the current 3.5% to 0.5% as of January 2020.

The operation of LNG-fueled ships can result in a reduction of nearly all emissions of SOx and particulate matter (PM), compared to ships powered with conventional fuels. LNG use can also reduce CO2 emissions by up to 25% and NOx emissions by more than 80% compared to gasoil.

A main challenge in the widespread adoption of LNG bunker fuel is developing the supply infrastructure to support the increasing number of LNG-fueled ships that are expected to come into operation. So far LNG-fueled ships have been largely dependent on fixed bunker locations or the limited bunkering capacity of Truck-to-Ship LNG trailers.

ENGIE Zeebrugge

Length overall: 107.60 meters
Breadth: 18.40 meters
Depth: 9.00 meters
LNG capacity: 5,000 m3
Gross tonnage: 7,403 tons
Main engine: Dual Fuel (marine gas oil, marine diesel oil, and LNG)
CountryFlag: Belgium
Class: Bureau Veritas
Shipyard: Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Ltd., Yeongdo Shipyard (Pusan)
Ship management: NYK Energy Transport (Atlantic) Ltd. (NYK LNG Shipmanagement (UK) Ltd.)