The world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker vessel was officially named during a ceremony held Friday in Rotterdam. The 135.5-meter-long, 18,600-cubic-meter-capacity GTT Mark III Flex membrane vessel has been named Gas Agility.
The first LNG bunker vessel owned by Emerald Green Maritime Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), she is chartered by Total’s affiliate Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions (TMFGS).
In February 2018, TMFGS and MOL signed a time charter party for the vessel, and construction began at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding’s yard in China in November 2018. Delivered in April 2020, the Gas Agility meets the highest technical and environmental standards, using LNG as propulsion fuel, and integrating a complete re-liquefaction of the boil-off gas.
On Friday, the ship arrived at Holland Amerikakade near Cruiseport Rotterdam, where it moored for its christening ceremony.
“We are delighted to have officially named Gas Agility as she embarks on a new chapter in delivering cleaner marine fuels. Her arrival in Rotterdam marks the culmination of three years of dedicated work with MOL and Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in Shanghai, to plan, build and create a major development in global marine LNG fuel supply,” said Jérôme Leprince-Ringuet, Managing Director of Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions. “Gas Agility is a clear demonstration of our ongoing drive to develop key logistical LNG infrastructures in the main bunkering hubs around the world, helping the shipping industry make the move to a more sustainable fuel solution.”
The ship will mainly be active in Northern Europe, and for the next decade at least will supply LNG to seagoing vessels, including CMA CGM’s nine new ultra large container vessels (ULCV)—the first 23,000-TEU containerships to be powered by LNG.
Cleaner burning LNG marine fuel has gained momentum as the global shipping industry looks to adapt to stricter emissions standards. Increasingly, LNG represents an available and competitive solution that contributes to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) long-term strategy of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships. Traction in developing LNG bunkering infrastructure has consequently expanded with several leading ports and LNG bunker suppliers alike having established key initiatives and made significant progress in support of these developments.
Takeshi Hashimoto, Executive Vice President of MOL, said, “I am very confident that our endeavor will be the great milestone and the turning point in this rapidly changing world. The transition from heavy fuel oil to LNG is competitive, environmentally efficient and an immediately available solution for maritime transportation. By providing the capacity to deliver LNG as a marine fuel, this partnership will be the leader in transition to a more fuel-efficient industry.”
In December 2019, TMFGS and MOL signed a long-term charter contract for a second large LNG bunker vessel, to be delivered in 2021. She will be positioned in the Marseille-Fos area in France to supply LNG as a marine fuel within the Mediterranean area.