Rotterdam Sees Uptick in LNG Bunkering

lng bunkering
LNG bunkering operation at the Port of Rotterdam (file image)

Published Nov 19, 2020 3:03 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Port of Rotterdam says that LNG bunkering services are beginning to take off in a big way, and the expansion of LNG fueling at the port has happened quickly. Rotterdam hosted its first ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operation in October 2018, and it now has a total of nine LNG bunkering vessels operating in the port area (including three stationed at the port on a permanent basis). 

"We support the transition from heavy fuel oil to liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a transport fuel for shipping. At present, LNG is the cleanest fuel that can be considered scalable and affordable for [large vessels]. Moreover, the introduction of these new LNG-powered vessels supports the Port Authority’s ambition to serve as a key hub in the import, export, storage and bunkering of LNG," said Allard Castelein, the CEO of the Rotterdam Port Authority.

On November 12, Total’s bunker vessel Gas Agility began bunkering the first-of-its-kind Megamax LNG-fueled container ship CMA CGM Jacques Saade, delivering about 18,000 cubic meters of LNG. The operation took around 16 hours to complete. Gas Agility, the world’s largest LNG bunker vessel, and she was built to supply ultra large ships like the Jacques Saade with LNG while they are loading or unloading cargo. 

The Saade does not need to bunker at the other end of its Asia-Europe rotation, as she has enough fuel capacity to make a round trip. By 2022, CMA CGM plans to have a fleet of 26 LNG-powered vessels in service, including nine 23,000 TEU ships in her class.

According to the advocacy organization Sea-LNG, a total of 175 LNG-powered seagoing vessels were in service worldwide as of January 2020. Orders for another 200 LNG-powered vessels have been placed with shipyards around the world.