Italy’s Fratelli Cosulich Group has ordered an LNG bunkering vessel from China’s CIMC SOE shipyard for operation in the Mediterranean
With a capacity of over 8,000 m3 of LNG and 500 m3 of marine gasoil, the new LNG bunker vessel (LNGBV) will have a cargo management system and an LNG sub-cooling system designed and supplied by Wärtsilä. Environmental impact and cargo losses will be reduced by boil off gas management technologies.
Propulsion will be supplied by azimuth thrusters, providing manoeuvrability in port areas.
With an approximate price tag of US$45M for construction, the vessel is backed by financing from the Fratelli Cosulich Group and a pool of financial institutions composed of BPER Banca, Banca Popolare di Sondrio, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, with insurance coverage provided by SACE Simest with ’Garanzia Green.’
Since it supports the decarbonisation of maritime transport in the Mediterranean Sea, the LNG bunkering project could receiving further support through a grant of €4.5M (US$5.5M) from the European Union under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme. PwC advised Fratelli Cosulich during the process of applying for the CEF blending call facility 2019.
Operating in the marine fuel sector globally for over 50 years, the group has operational experience in the LNG sector through its subsidiary ECOS, which manages FSRU Toscana off the Tuscan coast.
When it is delivered by CIMC SOE in 2023, the vessel will be managed by Fratelli Cosulich LNG.
Commenting on the order for the LNGBV, honorary group president Andrea Cosulich said the group “acted proactively” to provide refuelling coverage in the Mediterranean, supporting the surge in new LNG-fuelled ships “equipped with alternative propulsion, especially in the field of passenger ships. Our group will be ready to offer its services with cutting-edge solutions and in line with the evolution of technology itself.”
Italy continues to invest in LNG bunkering and small-scale infrastructure to bolster its decarbonisation efforts. Ravenna Knutsen, a midsized LNG carrier, was recently delivered by South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries to support the new ssLNG terminal in the Port of Ravenna, set to open later this year.
There are currently 31 LNG bunker vessels in operation globally, according to DNV’s Alternative Fuel Insights. This latest contract would grow the orderbook to 21 vessels under construction.
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