The world’s first purpose built liquefied natural gas bunkering vessel (LBV) has been delivered to its co-owners from Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Ltd., at the Yeongdo shipyard in Busan, South Korea, France’s ENGIE company said on its website.
ENGIE, Belgian Fluxys, Japanese Mitsubishi Corporation and shipowner NYK are the vessel’s co-owners.
Zeebrugge in Belgium will be the home port of the vessel, which has been named ENGIE Zeebrugge.
From there, the vessel with 5,000 cubic meters of LNG capacity will supply LNG as a marine fuel to ships operating in Northern Europe, according to the message from ENGIE.
The two LNG-fueled pure car and truck carriers (PCTC) operated by United European Car Carriers will be its first customers.
ENGIE Zeebrugge will load LNG at Fluxys’ LNG terminal in Zeebrugge, where small carriers with capacities from 2,000 cubic meters can dock at the recently commissioned second jetty.
As international regulations on emissions for ships tighten, LNG is expected to become an important alternative fuel for the maritime industry. Currently, the bunker market amounts to approximately 250 million tons of heavy fuel oil per year. The challenge in making LNG grow in the bunker market is to develop sufficient supply infrastructure to support the increasing number of LNG-fueled ships that are expected to come into operation.
Due to its favorable emission profile, the widespread adoption of LNG as a marine fuel is key to curb harmful emissions in the shipping industry.