Energy major Total has launched the world’s largest LNG bunker vessel, hailing it as “essential” infrastructure for the next phase of LNG adoption.
The launch follows the signature of a long-term charter contract between Total and Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL) in February 2018 and the bunker vessel is set to operate in Northern Europe once it is delivered.
“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,” “Momar Nguer, President for Total Marketing & Services, said.
135m in length
The new bunker vessel is fitted with innovative tank technologies, provided by the French company GTT, that allow for capacity of 18,600 cubic meters of LNG.
Built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding at their shipyard near Shanghai, the 135-meter-long vessel is designed to meet the next-generation of environmental standards and can handle complete reliquefaction of boil-off gas.
“Developing infrastructure like this giant bunker vessel is essential to allow LNG to become a widely used marine fuel,” Nguer commented.
The investment by Total represents part of an ongoing strategy by the French major to dominate the LNG sector and today the firm is the second-largest private global LNG player, with an overall portfolio of around 40 million tons per year by 2020 and a global market share of 10%.
CMA CGM supply
Once deployed next year, the vessel will supply LNG to commercial vessels, for a period of at least 10 years. Startup contracts included provision of 300,000 tons of LNG per year for CMA CGM’s nine ultra-large newbuild containerships in Europe-Asia trade.
The shipping line’s nine newbuild container ships will each feature 22,000-TEU capacity, making them the largest container vessels ever built.
“CMA CGM’s decision to adopt LNG propulsion for its new build container ships sends a strong signal to the maritime world… The wider use of LNG as a fuel is an important component of Total’s LNG strategy, and we are delighted to support CMA CGM as it implements this ambitious project,” Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of Total, said at the time.