Shell has confirmed its plans to build a specialised LNG bunker vessel to deliver to LNG-fuelled vessels in northwest Europe. The new vessel will be based at the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and will load from the new LNG break bulk terminal and jetty to be constructed by the Gas Access to Europe (Gate) terminal. It will also be sea-going and, therefore, able to bunker customers at other locations.
Demand for LNG as a fuel in the shipping industry is increasing, due to emissions reduction requirements scheduled to come into force in January 2015. The new fuel will also enable the industry to comply with future regulations.
“This specialised LNG bunker vessel is good news,” said Maarten Wetselaar, Shell’s Executive Vice President, Integrated Gas. “Potential customers need to know that their LNG fuel will be delivered reliably and safely. Shell’s investment in this vessel, as well as commitment to buy capacity at the Gate terminal, underlines our confidence in LNG becoming a bigger part of the fuel mix.”
The vessel itself will be pioneering in design and will be built by STX Offshore & Shipbuilding. It will have a capacity to carry 6,500 cubic metres of LNG fuel and will be highly efficient and manoeuvrable. Featuring an innovative transfer system and sub cooler unit, it will be able to load from big or small terminals and able to bunker a wide variety of customer vessels.
Grahaeme Henderson, Vice President of Shell Shipping & Maritime, explains: “We worked closely with customers on the specifications of this exciting new bunker vessel and will use cutting-edge technology. I am delighted to be working with STX on this project and Shell is proud to be leading in the development of LNG fuel in shipping.”