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Monday, May 18, 2020 

The Port of Marseille Fos, Shell and Carnival recently undertook the first ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operation in France on the ‘Costa Smeralda’, one of the first LNG-powered cruise ships.

Costa Smeralda, operated by Carnival brand Costa, was berthed in Marseille, being unable to operate due to Covid-19 restrictions, but still required an LNG delivery. Shell, which is under contract with Carnival to supply LNG, used its bunker tanker Coral Methane.

The bunker vessel was positioned in line with the Costa Smeralda’s bunker station, and once made fast, the transfer of the loading hose by the ship's crane could begin, followed by the installation of equipment to allow LNG to be transferred in complete safety. Refuelling continued overnight, the operation having been carried out in coordination between the ship services of the Port of Marseille Fos (lookout, piloting, towing, mooring), the crew of the Costa Smeralda, the Shell teams and the crew of the Coral Methane operated by the Dutch shipowner Anthony Veder, under supervision of the Marseille firefighters who are closely monitoring this development in liaison with the teams of the Harbour Master's Office.

"We are all proud to have been able to complete this operation smoothly and safely. It has required studies, instructions and procedures to be agreed with the various players, and in line with European and global standards. This is a first in France and proves to what extent, even during the current health crisis, we are capable of supporting the development of LNG, which is one of the measures deployed by the Port of Marseille Fos to reduce its environmental impact," said Amaury de Maupeou, Marseille Fos Port Authority Commander.

Tahir Faruqui, GM, Shell Global Downstream LNG, said: “We’re pleased that even in these challenging times for the industry, Shell is able to play a small role in helping to ensure continuity of LNG supply to our customers. We’re glad that we have been able to work efficiently with the Port of Marseille and Carnival. Carnival are one of a growing number of organisations adopting LNG – the most affordable alternative to traditional marine fuels available today”.

Franco Porcellacchia, Sustainable Innovation and Infrastructure Development VP Costa Group, said: “We are happy that our new LNG powered flagship Costa Smeralda was part of this new milestone for the Port of Marseille in partnership with Shell. Carnival and Costa specifically have been the first cruise operator to invest in sustainable innovation with LNG and continue to be committed to ensuring the highest environmental standards for a more sustainable future of cruising."

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