Total and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines charter the first LNG bunker vessel to operate in France

Source: press release, 4 December 2019

3D rendering of the future LNG bunkering vessel (illustration: DR)
3D rendering of the future LNG bunkering vessel (illustration: DR)

Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions (TMFGS) and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) have 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.

The bunker vessel will be built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in China. She will have a capacity of 18,600 m3 for a length of about 135 metres and will be fitted with the Mark III membrane containment system provided by French company GTT.

This vessel has been specifically designed to supply LNG bunker in the Mediterranean area to a wide range of vessels, including containerships, tankers, ferries and large cruise ships. She will meet the highest technical and environmental standards, using its own LNG as propulsion fuel and integrating a complete re-liquefaction of the boil-off gas.

The newbuild vessel will be operated under French flag by MOL, jointly with Gazocean, a pioneering company based in Marseille and one of the most experienced in LNG transportation.

Jérôme Leprince-Ringuet, Managing Director of TMFGS, comments, “We are proud to launch with MOL the first large LNG bunkering vessel in France. LNG is the best available alternative to reduce shipping environmental footprint, as it significantly improves air quality and strongly contributes to greenhouse gases reduction. With this agreement we reaffirm today our positive contribution to a sustainable shipping industry and our commitment to offer our customers a comprehensive network of supply for this clean marine fuel.”

Kenta Matsuzaka, MOL Managing Executive Officer, says, “This is the second LNG bunker vessel for Total, and we are extremely honoured that the company has selected us as a partner. We believe this project will further solidify our relationship. In recent years, the role of LNG has changed enormously. LNG of course, serves as a clean energy source, and we expect to see wider use for it as a vessel fuel, so we anticipate significant growth in the future. At MOL, we take a proactive stance in the LNG fuel business and will contribute to achieving global UN’s Sustainable Development Goals through this project.”

This agreement follows the launching of Total’s first LNG bunker vessel last month in Shanghai, which will supply LNG bunker to CMA CGM 23,000 TEU containerships in Northern Europe.