The Port of Marseilles Fos, the busiest and largest of France’s ports, is stepping into the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) marine fuel era following a lengthy study by a working group set up at the end of 2017. The study finds the introduction of LNG to be economic and a major contributor to reduced emissions.
The working group brought together players from the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector to reflect on developing LNG as a marine fuel with a view to reducing the impact of ships in the Port of Marseille Fos. It’s task was to study and ensure the relevance of the logistics options for LNG bunkering in the Port of Marseille Fos.
Economically very competitive, LNG eliminates almost all sulphur (SOx) and particulate emissions, reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by up to 80% and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 25% compared to current maritime fuels. LNG therefore offers an immediate alternative for the marine industry and responds to current environmental challenges.
Between March and July 2018, the LNG working group developed a master plan with details of the schedule for the investment that would be required and the possible operational methods. It brought together ship-owners that had expressed an interest in LNG from Marseille / Fos, the managers of the two LNG terminals based in Fos (Elengy and Fosmax LNG), an LNG supplier (Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions) and the LNG marine and fluvial platform.
The working group confirmed the feasibility of an operational LNG bunkering solution in both Marseille and Fos-sur-Mer within a limited timeframe, consisting of:
- The rapid development of truck refuelling logistics that would initially serve ferries and continue to be an option should refuelling vessels be unavailable.
- Putting one or more refuelling vessel(s) in place that would be suitable for cruise ships and ferries as well as container ships.
The players are already preparing with this timescale in mind: Fosmax LNG is investing in particular in the Fos Cavaou terminal (at Fos-sur-Mer in the Bouches-du-Rhône region of southern France) in order to adapt it to receive small LNG carriers. This service will be available in the summer of 2019 (50 annual slots). Elengy is studying the extension of activity at the Fos Tonkin Terminal (an LNG regasification terminal in Bouches-du-Rhône) focusing on loading small LNG carriers, with the provision of 100 annual slots from 2021.
The Port of Marseille Fos welcomes the results of the working group and its participants’ involvement in a shared industrial vision to promote LNG as marine fuel. The work will result in the establishment of a complete and sustainable economic sector leading to concrete measures to reduce the emissions of all traffic.
Fosmax LNG is the company that owns the Fos Cavaou LNG terminal. Its name is derived from the location of the terminal (at Fos-sur-Mer), its ability to handle the world’s largest LNG carriers (Q-Max), and the nature of its business at the heart of the global market for liquefied natural gas (LNG).