Hanjin Heavy Industries completes construction of the first LNG bunkering vessel
Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction announced that it completed construction and delivered the 5,000-ton LNG bunkering ship at its Yeongdo Shipyard in Busan. As a result, the South Korean shipbuilder is recorded as the first LNG bunkering vessel builder in the world.
The company won the bid to build this 5,100㎥ LNG bunkering vessel in 2014. LNG bunkering means the ship-to-ship transfer of fuel such as LNG. In general, LNG-powered vessels are fueled through a LNG storage tank or undertaking base on land. If a LNG bunkering ship is used, however, they are able to load fuel at sea. At the time of signing the contract, there were small bunkering or barge ships designed to supply LNG to a certain vessel.
However, it’s been the first time to build this large LNG bunkering ship around the globe. Therefore, it has drawn a great attention from the world. The LNG bunkering vessel named ‘ENGIE ZEEBRUGGE’ was handed over to LNG LINK INVESTMENT AS, a joint venture of Engie (France), Fluxys (Belgium), Mitsubishi Corporation (Japan) and NYK (Japan). It would supply the fuel to the LNG-powered vessels traveling the seas around Northern Europe from the Port of Zeebrugge in Belgium.
In particular, the LNG bunkering ship is designed to deliver the fuel in a ship-to-ship mode, which is deemed the most efficient way of transferring fuel. It is capable o supplying 5,000 cubic meters of LNG at a time. It features two independent pressurized LNG tanks approved by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), 2 propellers and 1 thruster and uses dual fuels (LNG, MGO bi-fuel), maximizing maneuverability and operating efficiency.
The LNG bunkering ship has been in the highlight in shipbuilding and shipping industries because of the high growth potential of LNG-fueled vessel market. In fact, LNG-powered ships are able to reduce fuel consumption by 20-50%, compared to the conventional vessels which are fueled by fossil fuels. They are also very advantageous from an environmental aspect because they are able to considerably reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The industry forecasts that LNG-fueled vessel and LNG bunkering markets would sharply increase as the IMO strengthens restrictions on ship exhaust gas, and the supply of LNG becomes stable after the exploration of shale gas around the world.