International bunkering firm Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions (TMFGS) intends to serve the emerging marine LNG market for the containership segment by chartering a large LNG bunker vessel from Japanese carrier Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL).
MOL will deliver the vessel in 2020, which is when it will start operating in Northern Europe, supplying containerships with LNG including those sailing on the Europe-Asia trade.
The ship will be the first ever capable of supplying large quantities of LNG in one single bunkering operation.
Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in China will construct the bunker vessel, which will be fitted with the Mark III membrane containment system provided by the French company GTT.
Highly manoeuvrable by design, with a length of about 135 metres, the ship will be able to operate safely in the considered harbours and terminals.
By using LNG as fuel, TMFG’s bunker vessel will meet the highest environmental standards.
It will also be able to perform a complete reliquefaction of the boil-off gas.
MOL Europe Africa, a UK subsidiary of MOL, will manage the newbuild vessel.
The agreement is a significant milestone in the cooperation between MOL and TMFG, with developments in both conventional fuels and LNG ahead of 2020 IMO sulphur regulations.
Signing ceremony between MOL's Takeshi Hashimoto and TOTAL's Oliver Jouny. Credit: TOTAL SA
MOL and TMFG have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to combine their expertise in the development of marine LNG infrastructures.
TMFG has also committed itself to serve MOL’s future LNG needs.
Olivier Jouny, Managing Director of TMFGS, commented: “We are very proud to partner with MOL for our first LNG bunker vessel.
“Their track record in LNG shipping already includes major achievements with Total.
“Combined with our strong historical activity in the bunker industry and our global footprint in LNG, this pioneer agreement offers a major contribution to the development of LNG as a marine fuel and illustrates Total’s strong commitment towards the use of this new fuel.
Takeshi Hashimoto, MOL Senior Managing Executive Officer, Energy Transport Business Unit, said: “We are delighted to be selected as a partner of Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions for their first LNG bunker vessel.
“This is a key milestone for MOL and also a stepping stone to further enhancement of the two companies’ relationship of not only in conventional fuels but also LNG as a marine fuel.
“We are confident that our joint technical and operational expertise will contribute positively to this new business development.”