LNG-fuelled container feeder vessel Wes Amelie has completed a world first ship-to-ship refuelling operation, having bunkered with the world’s largest LNG supply vessel Kairos in Sweden.
The operation was completed at anchorage off the coast of Visby, Sweden and was carried out by fuelling specialist Nauticor in collaboration with owner Wessels Reederei and operator Unifeeder. It marks the first ship-to-ship LNG bunker operation for a retrofitted container vessel in the Baltic.
“We are proud that in cooperation with Unifeeder and Wessels Reederei we have been able to provide a state-of-the-art ship-to-ship LNG fuelling solution for Wes Amelie. The successful operation proves again that LNG is becoming a fuel for all segments in the shipping sector and that the availability of the molecules is secured in Northwest Europe,” Mahinde Abeynaike, CEO of Nauticor, said.
STS supply chain development important
The Wes Amelie was the first of its kind to be retrofitted in 2017 and has since worked a feeder route between Rotterdam and the Baltics. It is operated by Unifeeder as part of its feeder and shortsea network, the largest in Europe.
“We are glad that the first LNG ship-to-ship transfer for the “Wes Amelie” went well, due to the smooth cooperation between the ship’s crew, the Nauticor experts and our bunker team here at Unifeeder. As one of the first movers in the use of LNG as fuel for container vessels, we have a substantial interest in developing a comprehensive LNG supply infrastructure. The development of ship-to-ship supply chains, such as the one offered by Nauticor with “Kairos”, is an important step towards a more efficient LNG distribution,” Hans Staal, Head of Bunker Procurement of Unifeeder, commented.
LNG “an elementary component”
Wessels Marine, a subsidiary of Wessels Reederei, now expects further implementation of LNG as a marine fuel in the container feeder segment and ship-to-ship LNG bunkering more generally, calling the fuel “an elementary component” of future development.
“We are working on a number of similar projects to rapidly expand the fleet of eco-friendly vessels converted to LNG… Wes Amelie has convincingly shown that the use of LNG substantially benefits the environment along the feeder routes and raises advantages for the operators,” Christian Hoepfner, Managing Director of Wessels Marine, said.
One of the largest German management companies for coasters, Wessels Reederei is based in Haren/Ems in Lower Saxony and operates a fleet of 20 coasters, four container ships, and six multi-purpose freighters.