The world’s first LNG driven tugboat, the M/T Borgøy arrived in the port of Zeebrugge for a bunkering operation – the first ‘truck to ship’ bunkering operation to be performed in the Flemish coastal port. The tug M/T Borgøy is also claimed to be the first tugboat in the world driven by liquefied natural gas. The vessel emits nearly 30 percent less CO2 and up to 90 percent less NOx and fine dust than conventionally-powered tugs.
The maritime sector is confronted with strict emission regulations, which results in an interest for LNG as a maritime fuel.
M/T Borgøy is the first of two identical tug boats ordered by the Norwegian BUBE (Buksér og Berging AS). The tug, equipped with two Rolls-Royce Bergen C26:33L6PG engines fueled purely by LNG, has left the Sanmar shipyard in Turkey, headed for Karsto in Norway to begin her long term operational contract for Statoil and taking LNG on-board in the port of Zeebrugge on the way.
The LNG fuelling operation was executed ‘Truck to Ship’ (TTS): an LNG-filled trailer is positioned alongside the quay and is connected with the ship’s fuel tank. This first TTS bunkering operation in Zeebrugge was planned and prepared with gas supplier Fluxys Belgium. The bunkering of the tug was assigned to LNGEurope.
“This successful bunkering operation confirms the belief of LNGEurope that in the future, these safe bunkering operations will become routine for a steadily growing fleet of LNG fuelled ships, not only in Zeebrugge,” said Koos Blaazer, LNGEurope b.v.
According to Joachim Coens, CEO Port of Zeebrugge, the bunkering operation is confirmation of the port’s readiness as a prime mover for LNG refueling. “We’ve started up several projects with different parties which are all in very different stages of development. To see this project performed successfully is very gratifying.”
Coens explained that different parties with plans to build seagoing LNG bunkering vessels or barges have contacted the Zeebrugge port authority to investigate the loading possibilities at the existing Fluxys terminal. While many can already be handled at the existing jetty, a second jetty will become operational in 2015 and the port will then be able to handle almost all sizes of LNG vessels, including small bunkering vessels. Also, two seagoing LNG bunkering vessels are planned, operating in and from the port of Zeebrugge.
LNGEurope b.v., founded in 2008 and part of ENN Energy Holding, delivers 50 tonnes of LNG for road transport, shipping and industrial installations on a weekly basis. The company focuses on developing LNG fuelling stations for trucks and bunkering facilities for the shipping industry in the Benelux, Germany and England.
(Source: Port of Zeebrugge)