Engie, Mitsubishi and NYK have joined forces to launch Gas4Sea, a joint initiative to invest in LNG bunker-supply ships globally, building on their joint venture at the Port of Zeebrugge, where they will operate an LNG bunker-supply ship from next year.
The three companies announced at SMM this morning that Gas4Sea will target potential demand for LNG as marine fuel in North America, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and Asia. Together, the partners have an LNG portfolio of 24 million (mta) tonnes a year, 10 per cent of the global total.
They envisage that if 10 per cent of the world shipping fleet switched to gas as marine fuel, this would create demand of 30 mta. For now, though, they highlight a Danish Maritime Authority estimate that demand will hit some 8 mta by 2030.
The world LNG-powered fleet comprises 75 ships on the water and 87 on order. The three shipping companies envisage particularly strong demand in mainland Europe, which accounts for 58 per cent of the global orderbook, and North America, which holds 25 per cent of the orderbook and which has ready access to cheap gas.
The partners’ 5,000m3 bunker-supply ship comes into service at Zeebrugge early next year. Fluxys, which operates the terminal at Zeebrugge, has taken a 25 per cent stake in that venture. Engie chief executive Philip Olivier says the partners sees that as a possible business model for other world ports.