The refuelling of the Panamanian semi-submersible crane vessel (SSCV), Sleipnir, with 3,200 metric tonnes of LNG marked the first LNG bunker supply within British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW) and it is the largest LNG bunker supply to date in Europe.
The Sleipnir anchored on the western side of Gibraltar on 23 August after leaving Singapore on 5 July as a newbuild. Before its arrival in the Mediterranean the vessel, owned by Heerema Marine Contractors, called at Cape Town, South Africa on 2 August.
The SSCV was bunkered by the LNG carrier, Coral Fraseri, owned by Titan LNG, and the Sleipner left BGTW at 2020 hours bound for Israel.
The go-ahead for the bunkering operation was given after a meeting of key personnel from both vessels met with a team from the Gibraltar Port Authority (GPA), including the Captain of the Port, his Deputy, Senior Officers, Bunkering Superintendent and the Pilots.
The Minister with responsibility for the Port and Maritime Affairs, the Hon Minister Gilbert Licudi QC MP, said that he was very pleased with the way the operation had been conducted and hoped that this was the start of more regular LNG bunkering activity within BGTW.
As previously reported, during Maritime Week Gibraltar in June Shell announced its intention to apply for an LNG bunkering licence at the port. Any LNG bunkering operations at Gibraltar will be entirely separate from activities related to the recently-opened LNG power plant, and LNG fuel supply operations at the port will only be carried out by ship-to-ship transfer.
Commenting on this latest LNG bunkering milestone, Niels den Nijs, CEO Titan LNG, said: ‘We thank the Port of Gibraltar for their support and are proud of our STS team and the crew on board the Coral Fraseri. The operation was performed in the sheltered bay helping to make this a safe, efficient and smooth operation.
‘We thank Heerema for their trust and cooperation that made this a successful bunkering operation in Gibraltar. We look forward to supplying Heerema with more LNG in the future to fulfil Titan’s mission of lowering harmful emissions from the marine and industrial sector.’