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TRIALS COMPLETED FOR FRANCE'S FIRST LNG BUNKER VESSEL

TRIALS COMPLETED FOR FRANCE'S FIRST LNG BUNKER VESSEL

Monday, July 12, 2021 

The first liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker vessel to be based in France has marked another step towards delivery and operational commencement, following the successful completion of sea and gas trials.

The new vessel is TotalEnergies Marine Fuels’ second collaboration with shipowner Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and shipbuilder Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding. TotalEnergies Marine Fuels and MOL signed a long-term charter contract in November 2019 and construction commenced in April 2020. The 18,600m³ capacity vessel was launched from the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in China at the end of April 2021. In June, sea trials were conducted off Shanghai where the new vessel’s navigation and propulsion systems were successfully tested, including speed and manoeuvrability assessments at open sea. Gas trials were completed in early July, under the attendance of the ship management team.

Due to go into operational service in the final quarter of 2021, the vessel will be operated by V-Ships France, under the French flag and will be based in the Port of Marseille-Fos, Southern France, to serve the Mediterranean region. Her first contracts will be to perform LNG bunkering services to CMA CGM’s LNG-fuelled containerships and MSC Cruises’ upcoming LNG-powered cruise ships that call at the French port.

The new vessel will incorporate enhanced equipment boosting its bunkering efficiency and flexibility to supply LNG to a wide range of vessels across various segments and sizes. These improved features include an additional bow thruster, upgraded cargo pumps and high duty compressors, as well as a pressure reduction system to optimise bunkering operations of ‘Type C’ tank vessels under all conditions.

The 135m long, GTT Mark III membrane vessel will meet Bureau Veritas' highest technical and environmental standards, using LNG as propulsion fuel and integrating a complete reliquefaction of the boil-off gas.

“We are excited to be at the forefront of making LNG bunkering capabilities readily available in France and the Mediterranean region,” said Jérôme Leprince-Ringuet, VP Marine Fuels, TotalEnergies. “With shipping’s accelerating transition to this cleaner marine fuel, we look forward to providing our customers with another major European hub for their LNG bunkering needs.”

Kenta Matsuzaka, Senior Managing Executive Officer MOL, said: “It is my great pleasure and honour to witness this important milestone of the project. MOL will support TotalEnergies in a long term throughout the LNG supply chain, contributing to stable energy supply and decarbonization of the shipping industry. We are proud of being part of the ongoing energy transition of the shipping industry by enabling our customer to supply cleaner marine fuel.”

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