Shell Bolsters LNG Bunkering Business
Shell subsidiary, Shell Western LNG, announced August 11 both the formal arrival of its new LNG bunkering vessel Cardissa and the charter of a bunkering barge from a third party.
Cardissa has capacity to hold around 6,500m3 of LNG and will supply Shell customers from the Gate terminal in Rotterdam to locations across Europe. The new-built vessel reached northwest Europe in late July after its delivery from the STX shipyard in South Korea.
Shell also finalised a long-term charter with a joint venture of Belgian bunkerer Victrol and French counterpart Compagnie Fluviale de Transport (CFT) for an LNG bunker barge that can carry 3,000m3 of LNG. Also operating out of Rotterdam, it will provide additional flexibility to bunker a range of customers including vessels operating on Europe’s inland waterways.
“LNG as a marine fuel has an important role to play in the future energy mix,” said Steve Hill, Shell Energy executive vice president: “With these bunker vessels, as well as the Gate terminal, Shell is demonstrating its commitment to building a robust and reliable supply chain to meet customer needs. With tougher emissions regulations on the horizon, we will continue to work closely with our customers and partners on cleaner energy solutions.”
Shell is one of the 28 members of industry group Sea\LNG. So is Qatar Petroleum with which Shell in June agreed to cooperate on LNG bunkers. This April, Shell announced an agreement with Russian shipowner Sovcomflot to supply LNG for the world’s first LNG-powered Aframax crude oil tankers that will operate in the Baltic and northern Europe, also transporting oil products. Shell will also supply two LNG-propelled Carnival cruise-liners when they enter service 2019. And already Shell-owned subsidiary Gasnor operates the existing 7,550 m3 capacity small-scale LNG carrier Coral Methane, on long-term charter from Dutch owner Anthony Veder, to supply customers.
Shell though has several rivals in the European LNG bunker sphere including Norway's Skangas, Germany's Nauticor, Dutch Titan LNG, and Engie.
Last October, the IMO decided to implement a global 0.5% sulphur cap in 2020 on bunker fuels, giving LNG a boost as an ultra-low emission fuel worldwide. However a much tighter 0.1% cap has already prevailed for some while in northern European, Baltic and north American waters.