Energy company Total has announced that on 30 April 2021, the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker vessel in operation, Gas Agility, completed the refuelling of the world’s largest containership powered by LNG, the CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE, with around 16,400 cubic metres (m3) of LNG. The impressive feat occurred at the Port of Dunkirk.
This operation also marks Dunkerque LNG terminal’s first loading of a small-scale LNG vessel and the Terminal des Flandres’ first LNG bunkering operation with simultaneous cargo operations.
The achievements required close cooperation across all partners of the ‘Green Loop’ project consortium, which comprises Total, the Dunkerque LNG terminal, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and CMA CGM.
Co-financed by the European Union under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) – Transport Sector, the overall project objective is to promote the decarbonisation of maritime transport by deploying a scale-up LNG bunkering solution in North Europe.
Total outlined that key investments, critical to enable this operation, were made within the framework of this project to boost the Dunkerque LNG terminal’s capabilities in offering small-scale LNG services.
Amongst various developments, an existing terminal jetty was adapted to allow the provision of LNG loading to LNG bunkering vessels.
Additionally, leveraging the expertise and experience of the consortium partners and the involvement of the Port of Dunkirk, all relevant LNG loading and bunkering procedures were developed in compliance with safety regulations.
Finally, this successful operation is an added testament to the Gas Agility’s operational excellence. Since commencing operations in November 2020, the LNG bunker vessel has delivered more than 160,000 m3 of LNG bunker in Rotterdam, where the vessel is based.
Gas Agility is designed to serve a broad range of vessels from various segments, including CMA CGM’s 23 000 TEUs LNG-fuelled container ships.
By 2022, the Gas Agility’s sistership, another 18,600 m3 newbuild LNG bunker vessel, will join Total’s LNG bunker fleet to serve the Mediterranean region. Simultaneously, Total will share the use of a third bunker vessel in Singapore.
Jérôme Leprince-Ringuet, Vice President Marine Fuels at Total, said that the company was pleased to partner with Dunkerque LNG for this unprecedented operation, and to showcase the agility of its LNG bunkering solutions to serve the Northwestern Europe market.
“It also reinforces our confidence in the role of LNG for shipping’s energy transition. We will continue to grow our LNG bunker supply network, to help our customers take advantage of the confirmed reduction in greenhouse gases of up to 23 per cent and its significant air quality benefits,” he said.
Olivier Heurtin, CEO of Dunkerque LNG, commented: “We are proud of this successful first operation. Our teams performed the loading with a high level of safety as they always do.”
“Thanks to a close cooperation with Total, this new chapter showcases the terminal’s commitment to provide the infrastructure and the services to unlock LNG as an alternative low-emission fuel for ships and heavy-duty road transport.”