Delivered in April, the world’s largest LNG bunker vessel Gas Agility was officially named at a ceremony in Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Gas Agility and its sister vessel under construction in China will expand the refuelling infrastructure in Europe for the growing number of LNG-fuelled vessels, including multiple series of ultra-large container ships (ULCS).
Chartered by Total affiliate Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions (TMFGS), 18,600-m3 Gas Agility is owned by Emerald Green Maritime Limited, a subsidiary of Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL). In February 2018, TMFGS and MOL signed the time charter party for the LNG bunkering vessel. Total and MOL will further grow the LNG bunkering infrastructure in Europe with the addition of a second 18,600-m3 LNG bunkering vessel under construction at China’s Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding. As reported by Riviera Maritime Media, final assembly on that bunker vessel has begun. Based in the Marseille-Fos area in France, the bunker vessel will supply LNG as a marine fuel within the Mediterranean area when delivered in 2021.
TMFGS managing director Jérôme Leprince-Ringuet said Gas Agility’s arrival in Rotterdam “marks the culmination of three years of dedicated work with MOL and Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in Shanghai, to plan, build and create a major development in global marine LNG fuel supply.”
With one of the largest portfolios of LNG in the world, Total is clearly committed to expanding the use of LNG as a marine fuel, inking a long-term deal to supply LNG to container shipping line CMA CGM. Total will supply approximately 270,000 tonnes per year of LNG over 10 years. This volume will cover the supply at Marseille-Fos of CMA CGM’s 15,000-TEU container ships that will operate between Asia and the Mediterranean, scheduled for delivery starting in 2021.
In 2017, Total and CMA CGM signed an agreement covering the supply of around 300,000 tonnes of LNG annually for 10 years starting in 2020. This unprecedented volume in the history of LNG bunkering will fuel CMA CGM’s nine newbuild 23,000-TEU container ships. Jacques Saade, the first in the series, is nearing delivery.
“Gas Agility is a clear demonstration of our ongoing drive to develop key logistical LNG infrastructure in the main bunkering hubs around the world, helping the shipping industry make the move to a more sustainable fuel solution,” Mr Leprince-Ringuet added. “With its pioneering design and innovative equipment, Gas Agility is an industry premiere made possible by a strong collaboration between the shipyard, the owner, the charterer and many partners, including Bureau Veritas and GTT.”
Built with GTT Mark III Flex thin film tanks for low evaporation rate and full-process service capabilities, the 135-m bunker vessel has been designed with tank strength to withstand sloshing impact.
MOL executive vice president Takeshi Hashimoto called Gas Agility a “great milestone and the turning point in this rapidly changing world.” He said, “The transition from heavy fuel oil to LNG is competitive, environmentally efficient and an immediately available solution for maritime transportation. By providing the capacity to deliver LNG as a marine fuel, this partnership will be the leader in the transition to a more fuel-efficient industry.”
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