Peninsula launches LNG bunkering business

Announcing this ‘major milestone’ in the company’s development, the marine fuel supplier says that building an LNG supply proposition is the first phase of its Global Sustainability Initiative.

One of the first suppliers to offer very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) in 2019, Peninsula says its subsequent strategy has been focused on renewable marine energy and with a move into LNG supply, it can ‘positively shape the ever-changing “green energy” landscape’.

Peninsula’s energy transition strategy is the culmination of an 18-month consultation process and the company says its strong customer relationships and global network have been essential in building a clear picture of current and future fuel demand.

‘We are already in dialogue with multiple customers regarding their LNG strategies,’ said Victor Morales, Peninsula’s Global Head of Sales & Marketing. 

‘We are fortunate to have deep relationships with many customers, either already operating LNG-powered vessels, or in the final stages of delivering new ships for service. 

‘Building our LNG proposition around customer needs is a natural progression for us as it is a methodology we have followed in conventional bunkering for 25 years.  In many cases, customers are opting for dual-fuelled ships and we will be uniquely placed to assist them with all their bunkering needs.’

Describing itself as a ‘naturally risk-averse company’, Peninsula says its approach to LNG supply has been ‘wholly focused on replicating its reputation as a safe, quality operator by all stakeholders and in ensuring that it is ready to meet the transition challenges’.

The company has brought onboard Nacho de Miguel as Head of Business Development to lead Peninsula’s energy transition strategy. He began his career in bunkering at Cepsa and has also held LNG-focused senior positions with Union Fenosa.

Commenting on the launch of the new LNG operation, he said: ‘I am fortunate to have worked extensively in both bunkers and LNG therefore I welcomed the opportunity to bring this experience and knowledge to Peninsula as it develops its worldwide LNG supply business.  The company has a long history of investing for the future and is committed to delivering a sustainable marine energy proposition for its global customers.’

De Miguel has already built a team to cover the key elements of LNG bunker supply such as technical, regulatory and governance as well as the commercial agenda for the group.

Pensinsula’s CEO John Bassadone commented on the company’s expansion into LNG supply: ‘This is another major milestone in Peninsula’s evolution. We have built a team of very experienced individuals in the sustainability and LNG space who will drive Peninsula’s transition to a cleaner future. 

‘Peninsula already has a wide-ranging presence across the maritime supply chain.  Initially we are using this expertise to progressively build an LNG bunkering proposition, which will benefit our customers globally.  We are already in advanced discussions with shipyards, governments, maritime authorities, suppliers and customers, to name but a few, and the response so far has been extremely positive given Peninsula’s excellent reputation in conventional bunkering. 

He concluded: ‘As technology continues to improve, we will invest in further viable green energy solutions.  Ultimately we are committed to a zero carbon future and I strongly believe that Peninsula will play a key role in marine energy reaching this destination.’

LNG bunkering operations have certainly ramped up in the Spanish market over the past year. Last month, gas company Gasnam reported that some 741 LNG bunkering operations were carried out in Spanish ports in 2020 – 542 (272%) more than the 199 recorded in 2019.

A total of 122,058 cbm of LNG was bunkered in Spanish ports last year of which 68.5% was supplied to ferries, 31.1% to cruise ships and 0.4% to other types of vessels.

Additionally, the number of ports in Spain where LNG bunkering is carried out on a regular basis increased from six to nine: Algeciras, Almería, Barcelona, ​​Bilbao, Denia, Huelva, Malaga, Tenerife and Valencia.

Last December, the European Commission has signed a grant agreement with Enagás and the Port Authority of Algeciras Bay which will pave the way for the construction of the first fully dedicated LNG bunkering vessel at the Port of Algeciras. In January this year, the Gibraltar Port Authority also announced that Shell had been awarded a LNG bunker licence.

Lesley Bankes-Hughes

Lesley Bankes-Hughes