Shell today confirmed its plans to build a specialised LNG bunker vessel to deliver to LNG-fuelled vessels in northwest Europe. The new vessel will be based at the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and will load from the new LNG break bulk terminal and jetty to be constructed by the Gas Access to Europe (GATE) terminal. It will also be sea-going and, therefore, able to bunker customers at other locations.
Demand for LNG as a fuel in the shipping industry is increasing, due to emissions reduction requirements scheduled to come into force in January 2015. The new fuel will also enable the industry to comply with future regulations.
“This specialised LNG bunker vessel is good news,” said Maarten Wetselaar, Shell’s Executive Vice President, Integrated Gas. “Potential customers need to know that their LNG fuel will be delivered reliably and safely. Shell’s investment in this vessel, as well as commitment to buy capacity at the Gate terminal, underlines our confidence in LNG becoming a bigger part of the fuel mix.”
The vessel itself will be pioneering in design and will be built by STX Offshore & Shipbuilding. It will have a capacity to carry 6,500 cubic metres of LNG fuel and will be highly efficient and manoeuvrable. Featuring an innovative transfer system and sub cooler unit, it will be able to load from big or small terminals and able to bunker a wide variety of customer vessels.
Grahaeme Henderson, Vice President of Shell Shipping & Maritime, explains: “We worked closely with customers on the specifications of this exciting new bunker vessel and will use cutting-edge technology. I am delighted to be working with STX on this project and Shell is proud to be leading in the development of LNG fuel in shipping.”
The development of this new vessel and its supporting infrastructure strengthens Shell’s position in Europe’s natural gas and LNG market. Global LNG trading began 50 years ago, when Shell brought the world’s first commercial LNG cargo from Algeria to the UK.
Shell Shipping & Maritime manages 44 LNG carriers – around 11% of the world’s LNG fleet – making Shell one of the largest LNG carrier operators.
GATE LNG Terminal
Shell is the first customer of a new, dedicated LNG for transport infrastructure announced in July 2014 by the GATE terminal. The new LNG for transport infrastructure, called a ‘break bulk’ terminal, includes the construction of a new jetty. The new jetty will increase availability of LNG as a transport fuel for vessels and trucks in northwest Europe. It is expected to be operational in Q4 2016.
For road customers, the existing truck-loading station at the Gate terminal will be used to distribute LNG fuel to an initial Shell network of up to seven LNG truck refuelling stations in the Netherlands. The first of these Shell truck refuelling stations is planned to open in the Rotterdam area.
Shell’s support helped launch Greenstream and Green Rhine, the world’s first 100% LNG-powered barges to carry goods along Europe’s River Rhine.