Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding says the 18,600 cubic metre LNG bunker vessel has now ‘entered the final assembly stage’ and is scheduled for delivery at the end of 2021 when it will go on charter to energy major Total.
MOL’s first LNG bunker barge, Gas Agility, was constructed at the same yard and was delivered on 30 April. This vessel, to be based at Rotterdam, will enter service with Total later this year to refuel CMA CGM’s 23,000 TEU LNG-fuelled containerships.
The second LNG bunker vessel will be based at Marseille-Fos in France and will be operated by Total to refuel CMA CGM’s new 15,000 TEU containerships.
Total agreed a 10-year contract last December to supply these vessels with 270,000 metric tonnes of LNG on an annual basis.
Announcing the next construction milestone for the second bunker barge, Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding said that the vessel featured ‘three major improvements’ over the first vessel.
Loading rate and unloading capacity have been increased by 25% which will reduce refuelling times. A new design of air return system will be used ‘which solves the problem of automatically adapting to the change of the return air back pressure’.
Lastly, the new barge will be able to bunker a wide range of vessel types and sizes, ranging from small LNG-fuelled ferries to very large crude carriers and large containerships.