Its position at the entrance to the North Sea makes Dunkirk's LNG terminal well-suited to meet Europe's growing demand for LNG bunkering, said Dunkerque LNG's director of business development Cécile Grégoire-David at the LNG Ship/Shore Interface Conference in London on 22 November.
The bulk of LNG-powered vessels currently operating are Norwegian or European-flagged, and this trend is continued when vessels on order are added to the equation, she added, going on to detail ways in which the port intends to boost its bunkering capabilities.
Firstly, a truck-loading bay is due to commence operating in early 2019, serving as a bunkering tool for the ferry Honfleur, Ms Grégoire-David said.
Development of the port's jetty will also bolster the port's bunkering capabilities in response to anticipated rising demand. Currently capable of serving vessels between 65,000 m3 to Q-Max, the modified jetty will also be able to receive vessels sized between 5,000 m3-30,000 m3. The project will cost between €1.5M-2M (US$1.7-2.3M) and will involve replacing the ancilliary fenders and installing an additional gangway, hopefully taking place in mid-2019.
A dedicated small-scale jetty to accomodate vessels sized from 3,000 m3 is also planned, Ms Grégoire-David added. Technical issues such as whether to use hoses or piping and the viability of mobile or other lightweight structures are currently being considered and it is hoped a firm investment decision for the dedicated jetty will be made by June 2019, Ms Grégoire-David said.
Dunkerque LNG joined CMA CGM, Total and MOL to apply for funding from the European Union for the 'Green Loop' project, which the port works at Dunkirk will form a part of. The total investment programme is targeted at €1Bn, and at the end of September the EU awarded the Green Loop project €11.96M in European subsidies, 20% of the costs of the realised works, Ms Grégoire-David said.