STX Offshore & Shipbuilding has commenced the construction of Shell’s innovative LNG bunker vessel. The steel cutting ceremony of the specialized LNG bunker vessel* took place in Korea on the 4th of December, with representatives from Shell and STX Offshore & Shipbuilding.
The new LNG bunker vessel will be based at the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and will load from the new LNG break bulk terminal currently under construction by the Gas Access to Europe terminal. Once ready, it will deliver to LNG-fuelled vessels in northwest Europe. The vessel is also sea-going and, therefore, able to bunker customers at other locations.
The vessel itself will be pioneering in design. It will have a capacity to carry 6,500 cubic metres of LNG fuel and will be highly efficient and maneuverable. 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.
Containerships Ltd Oy will be the launching customer of Shell’s specialized LNG bunker vessel, after signing a LNG supply agreement with Shell on the 24th of November 2015. Containerships Ltd Oy will charter 1.400 TUE container vessels, currently being built by Nordic Hamburg Shipping in China. The vessels will receive LNG fuel from Shell at the port of Rotterdam, after the LNG bunker vessel becomes operational in mid-2017.
Demand for LNG as a fuel in the shipping industry is increasing, due to emissions reduction requirements that came into force in January 2015. The new fuel will also enable the industry to comply with future regulations.
* The project ‘ReaLNG’ is co-financed by the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility
“This is a significant landmark in bringing this innovative LNG bunker vessel with cutting-edge technology to reality,” said Dr Grahaeme Henderson, Vice President of Shell Shipping & Maritime. “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.”
Byungmo Lee, President & CEO of STX Offshore & Shipbuilding noted, “We are excited to be sharing this milestone with Shell. Demand for LNG as a fuel in the shipping industry is increasing, and STX is helping companies like Shell on establishing LNG as a fuel for shipping.”
“I am delighted to announce that Containerships has signed a partnership agreement with Shell which secures the supply of LNG for our first two vessels,” says Kari-Pekka Laaksonen. “This is a vital component of our LNG strategy. The process of evaluating the many different alternatives has been lengthy and extensive, and we believe the solution we have found together with Shell will be mutually rewarding.”
“The supply agreement between Shell and Containerships is another example of the marine LNG fuel supply chain coming together,” says Lauran Wetemans, Shell’s General Manager Downstream LNG. “Working together with customers like Containerships is critical to encourage the use of LNG as a fuel in the marine sector, and we’re committed to helping make the transition to LNG.”