Global energy company Total expects delivery in 2020 of its first large liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker vessel.
The bunker vessel will supply LNG to commercial vessels in northern Europe, including 300 000 t/y for French container transportation and shipping company CMA CGM for at least ten years.
The 135-m-long, 18 600 m3 bunker vessel launch followed after Total signed a long-term charter contract with Mitsui OSK Lines, in February.
The LNG bunker vessel’s construction, by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, is in line with the International Maritime Organisation decision to drastically limit the sulphur content of marine fuels from 2020.
Total says the transition from heavy fuel oil to LNG is a competitive, efficient and immediately available solution for maritime transportation.
LNG significantly reduces emissions from ships, helping to cut sulphur emissions by 99%, fine particle emissions by 99%, nitrogen oxide emissions by 85% and greenhouse gas emissions by about 20%.
Total marketing and services president Momar Nguer says developing infrastructure such as the bunker vessel is essential to enable LNG to become a widely used marine fuel.