China’s first LNG bunkering vessel nearing delivery

China’s Dalian Shipbuilding Industry (DSIC), a unit of CSSC, is nearing completion of the country’s first LNG bunkering vessel owned by independent gas distributor ENN.

Shipbuilding sources tell LNG Prime that DSIC should deliver the 8500-cbm Xin Ao Pu Tuo Hao by the end of this year.

ENN ordered this vessel back in 2018. It had planned to start using the vessel in 2020 but the project had been delayed, the sources said.

Designed by China Ship Design & Research Center, the vessel features type C tanks and Wartsila propulsion.

The Finnish tech firm said in June 2019 it had won the order to supply the vessel’s cargo handling system, the 34DF dual-fuel main engine, and two 20DF dual-fuel auxiliary engines.

The vessel is not just the first for China but is also the first newbuilding LNG bunkering vessel for ENN. It is part of the group’s ambition to play an active role in the international marine LNG fuel supplier market.

With this bunkering vessel, ENN will be capable of supplying fuel to all kinds of large LNG-fueled vessels.

ENN previously said the vessel would work from its 5 mtpa Zhoushan LNG terminal in China’s eastern Zhejiang province.

According to a report by Reuters on Wednesday, Ye Dongsheng, president of ENN Singapore, told a seminar in Zhoushan that the firm would soon receive a license to supply LNG as a marine fuel, the first of its kind in the country.

The license would allow ENN to supply LNG as bunkering fuel from Zhoushan, China’s top marine fuel port, he said.

Also, the executive added that ENN plans to put the LNG bunkering vessel in use next year, the report said.

More LNG bunkering vessels to follow

China, which is expected to become the world’s largest LNG importer this year, has big plans for LNG as fuel as it looks to slash emissions in shipping.

A unit of China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) has recently launched a tender to construct a 12,000-cbm LNG bunkering vessel to cater to a growing demand for the fuel.

CNOOC Energy Development is inviting domestic shipyards to submit offers for one bunkering vessel with two type C tanks.

This development followed a contract revealed in September where CNOOC said it had signed deals to supply liquefied natural gas to 150 LNG-powered vessels.

The LNG bunkering contract is the first of its kind in China including a large number of ships.

CNOOC’s gas and power unit signed a deal with Guangdong Province Navigation Group, parent of GNG Ocean Shipping which has this year ordered 50 small LNG-powered bulk carriers at CSSC’s Guijiang Shipbuilding.

In addition, CNOOC’s unit would supply liquefied natural gas to Guangxi Jinxiang Shipping’s 100 LNG-fueled vessels, it said.

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