Total to bunker cruise ships in Marseille with LNG
France's Total has reached an agreement to supply 45,000 metric tons/year of LNG for bunkering cruise ships belonging to Switzerland-based MSC Cruises in Marseille, the companies said on March 25.
MSC is due to launch the first of three LNG-powered cruise ships in 2022. Total will bunker the vessels when they call at Marseille while on Mediterranean routes, using what will be its second bunkering vessel, with a 18,600-m3 capacity. The ship was ordered at Chinese shipyard Hudong-Zhonghua in late 2019.
"We are proud to be developing the first LNG bunker supply chain in France, at the port of Marseille-Fos, together with shipping industry leaders such as MSC Cruises with whom we nurture a long-lasting partnership worldwide in the field of bunkering services," Total's president for marketing and services, Alexis Vovk, said. "Total will continue to step up investments in LNG bunkering to ultimately reach its target of serving more than 10% of the global market."
The French major pointed to LNG's environmental benefits, noting it almost eliminates sulphur and fine particle emissions, while reducing nitrogen oxide and greenhouse gas emissions by 85% and 20% respectively compared to conventional oil-based marine fuels.
Total launched its first bunkering vessel in October 2019, primarily to refuel containerships owned by French cargo shipper CMA CGM that manage Asia-Europe trade. The company also shares the use of a third bunkering vessel in Singapore, securing a licence to refuel ships with LNG there in late February.