Marseille Fos looks to become main Mediterranean LNG bunkering hub

aerial view of Marseille in France in Midday light

The Port of Marseille Fos has reaffirmed its commitment to using liquefied natural gas (LNG) and announced its aim to becoming a bunkering hub for the Mediterranean.

In a statement, the port said it performed the second ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operation on 15 June, having organised the first in early-May 2020, along with Shell energy.

The port said it will use its position in the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF) to promote use of LNG in commercial shipping. This will include contributing to working groups with operators and other stakeholders to “introduce all the safety conditions that meet European and global standards”.

Among its commitments include the building of an LNG bunkering vessel by Total to supply the five CMA CGM LNG-propelled 15,000 TEU container ships that from 2021 will be calling in at the port.

“The responsiveness of the port,” it said, “and the commitment of all the players in the port community (mooring, pilots, tugs, terminals, harbour master’s office and fire fighters) in successfully completing these operations is a positive sign for the future of the LNG sector”.

Under the guidance of SGMF, the Port and sector stakeholders, the energy transition to LNG is becoming a reality. Today, SGMF has identified 185 LNG-powered ships in operation worldwide and 213 LNG ships on order.

LNG is considered by many to be a clean alternative energy to heavy fuel oil. It limits the impact of emissions from ships and makes it possible to eliminate almost all sulphur and particulate emissions, and reduce both nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 80% and carbon dioxide emissions by up to 25% compared with current marine fuels.

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