Total Launches LNG Bunkering Vessel
French major Total has launched its first large-sized LNG bunkering vessel, at a time when shipowners are scrambling to prepare for stricter rules on marine fuel emissions coming into force next year.
After its delivery in 2020, the vessel will operate in northern Europe, supplying 300,000 mt/yr of LNG over ten years to French cargo shipper CMA CGM’s nine ultra-large newbuild containerships that are managing Europe-Asia trade, Total said in a filing on October 18.
“Developing infrastructure like this giant bunker vessel is essential to allow LNG to become a widely used marine fuel,” commented Momar Nguer, Total’s president for marketing and services. “This first ship demonstrates our commitment to offering our customers both more environmentally friendly fuels and the associated logistics. Thanks to this pioneering investment, Total is making a positive contribution to the sustainable evolution of global shipping.”
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is introducing a cap of 0.5% on sulphur content in shipping fuel next year, a steep reduction from the current limit of 3.5%. In order to follow the new rules, shipowners face a choice between switching to lower-sulphur fuel oil, investing in scrubbers or re-gearing their vessels to run on cleaner fuels such as LNG. According to Total, using LNG reduces emissions of sulphur by 99%, fine particles by 99%, nitrogen oxide by 85% and greenhouse gases by 20%.
Total’s new vessel was built at the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard and is fitted with 18,600-m3 storage tanks provided by France’s GTT.