Rotterdam marks first with simultaneous LNG bunkering

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Posted July 11, 2019

Rotterdam is hailing the recent bunkering operations by Containerships Nord and Containerships Polar as significant steps in the acceptance of LNG as a marine fuel.

The Port of Rotterdam is boasting of a European first saying, a ship bunkered LNG while transhipping containers at the same time. This major step in the sector-wide acceptance of LNG as a transport fuel for shipping was taken by Containerships Nord. The procedure, known as simultaneous bunkering, allows ships to significantly cut their port call times. The operation took place at the RST terminal at Prins Willem Alexanderhaven in Rotterdam. The LNG was supplied by Shell.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority helps to facilitate simultaneous bunkering. “This is in line with our ambition to promote the energy transition within the shipping sector: from fuel oil to LNG,” explains Port Authority COO Ronald Paul.

The success of this first bunkering operation has paved the way for a follow-up by Containerships Polar, Nord’s sister ship. From now on, both vessels will be simultaneously bunkering LNG in Rotterdam. Containerships is a subsidiary of the French company CMA CGM, which is working to promote the energy transition in the container shipping sector. CMA CGM has already ordered 20 LNG-powered ships, which include nine 22,000-TEU vessels.

Simultaneous bunkering is common with fuel oil but the additional risks involved with LNG bunkering has meant that bunkering is usually carried out as a separate operation.