The 18,600 cubic metre (cbm) Gas Agility was delivered by China’s Hudong Zhonghua Merchant Marine Mitsui shipyard on 30 April and will enter service with Total later this year to refuel CMA CGM’s 23,000 TEU LNG-fuelled containerships.
The Gas Agility features GTT’s Mark III FLEX type membrane containment system and one refuelling will enable a containership to sail 19,500 nautical miles, covering the round-trip voyage from Europe to the Far East.
The vessel has a wide filling rate range and can supply up to to 1,600 cbm an hour.
Owned by MOL, Gas Agility will be based at Rotterdam and will operate in northern Europe. Under the terms of a 10-year contract, Total will supply CMA CGM’s fleet of nine 23,000 TEU containerships with 300,000 metric tonnes of LNG per year.
Hudong Zhonghua shipyard also announced that it began the construction of another 18,600 cbm LNG bunkering vessel on 29 April. Also owned by MOL and scheduled for delivery towards the end of 2021, this will be based at Marseille-Fos in France and will be operated by Total to refuel CMA CGM’s new 15,000 TEU containerships.
The French energy major agreed a 10-year contract last December to supply these vessels with 270,000 metric tonnes of LNG on an annual basis.
Announcing the start of construction on the second bunker vessel, the shipyard noted that it will feature ‘three major upgrades in performance’ compared to the Gas Agility. The first is a higher filling rate and the second is greater compatibility across all types of LNG fuel tanks – A, B or membrane.
The shipyard also notes that the bunker vessel will be able to service a wider range of ship types, ‘from LNG-powered container ships, super-large oil tankers, and even LNG-powered luxury cruise ships’.
With the delivery of the Gas Agility, the Nauticor-operated 7,500 cbm Kairos has lost its position as the world’s largest LNG bunker vessel. The Kairos will now be operated by Gasum following the closing of its acquisition of the marine bunkering business of Hamburg-based Nauticor last week.
In the April/May of Bunkerspot magazine, Xavier Pfeuty of Total Marine Fuel Global Solutions tells Lesley Bankes-Hughes that LNG will play a key role in the future marine energy mix