Port of Dunkirk Progresses LNG Bunkering Project

| France, Dunkerque

Port of Dunkirk docksThe Port of Dunkirk has selected Paris-based global gas specialist Air Liquide and Antwerp-based Exmar, a fully integrated supplier of LNG solutions as partners to Dunkerque LNG to carry out a detailed analysis of project files that will lead to the setup of a marine bunkering and on-land supply chain of small-scale LNG from the port.

The project commenced 25 April 2014 following the European directive for a drastic reduction in sulphur emissions from ships, particularly in the Channel and North Sea area, and ahead of the opening of the LNG Terminal. At that time the Port of Dunkerque issued a Call for Expressions of Interest (CEI) for marine bunkering and on-land supply of LNG.  A CEI update describes subsequent steps.

The CEI served initially to identify the operators interested in this activity, and the selected candidates were then asked to structure and submit a project file on 8 September 2014. Certain bids were eliminated during the preliminary analysis, and a detailed analysis of the project files is in progress with the Dunkerque LNG – Air Liquide – Exmar consortium.

The project presented by these companies is organised as follows:

  • On-land supply: Dunkerque LNG and Air Liquide will be responsible for the preliminary studies, the engineering and the investments. Gaz-Opale, a subsidiary of Dunkerque LNG operating the LNG terminal, will operate the on-land installation.
  • Marine bunkering: Dunkerque LNG will be responsible for the preliminary studies, the engineering and the investments for the installations to transfer LNG from the terminal network connection as far as the loading arm.

Exmar, for its part, will handle the preliminary studies, the engineering and the building of a bunkering ship with a capacity to be defined according to LNG requirements as identified during the initialisation phase. Its operation will be assigned to Exmar Shipmanagement (a subsidiary of Exmar).

During the first phase it is proposed that the loading arms and the main wharf of the LNG terminal, currently under construction, be adapted to rapidly allow the supply of LNG to ships with capacities of up to 2,000 m3.

In a second phase the consortium proposes to create a marine station specifically dedicated to bunkering, which could accommodate ships with capacities of between 2,000 and 20,000 m3.

Gaz-Opale, 51% subsidiary Dunkerque LNG and 49% of the Belgian group Fluxys, will operate the marine station.

During a later phase the consortium also plans to build a bunkering barge which could supply vessels on the inland waterway networks.

Following this detailed analysis and the finalisation of the project, an agreement will be signed with this consortium and a call for funding issued soon afterwards, notably under the European Union’s TEN-T proposals scheme.

(Source: Port of Dunkerque)

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