TotalEnergies, MOL finish trials of LNG bunker vessel
TotalEnergies and Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) have concluded sea and gas trials of the first LNG bunker vessel to be based in France, they said on July 12.
The new vessel is TotalEnergies Marine Fuels’ second collaboration with shipowner MOL and shipbuilder, Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding. TotalEnergies Marine Fuels and MOL signed a long-term charter contract in November 2019 and construction commenced in April 2020.
The 18,600-m³ capacity vessel was first launched from the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in China at the end of April 2021. In June, sea trials were conducted off Shanghai where the new vessel’s navigation and propulsion systems were successfully tested. Gas trials were completed in early July.
Due to go into operational service in the final quarter of 2021, the vessel will be operated by V-Ships France and will be based in the Port of Marseille-Fos, Southern France, to serve the Mediterranean region. Its first contracts will be to perform LNG bunkering services to CMA CGM’s LNG-fuelled containerships and MSC Cruises’ upcoming LNG-powered cruise ships that call at the French port.
The vessel will have an additional bow thruster, upgraded cargo pumps and high duty compressors, as well as a pressure reduction system to optimize bunkering operations of Type C tank vessels under all conditions, the companies said.
By the end of 2021, TotalEnergies Marine Fuels will charter two LNG bunkering vessels in Rotterdam and Marseille and share the use of a third bunker vessel in Singapore. In February 2021, the Singapore entity of TotalEnergies Marine Fuels also received a license from the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore to supply LNG in the Port of Singapore from 2022.