Italian shipping group Fratelli Cosulich should soon place an order for its first LNG bunkering vessel at China’s Nantong CIMC Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering.
Shipbuilding sources tell LNG Prime that the duo should sign the contract for the ship in April.
CIMC SOE, a unit of CIMC ENRIC, is already building dual-purpose, LNG bunkering and supply vessels for London-based Avenir. This includes two 20,000-cbm vessels, claimed to be the largest in the world, and two 7,500-cbm newbuilds.
The new LNG bunkering ship for Fratelli Cosulich would have a capacity of 8,200 cbm, according to the sources.
It could be worth about $45 million but we could not confirm this by the time this article was published.
The family-owned firm plans to use the LNG bunkering vessel on the western coast of Italy in the Tyrrhenian Sea, part of the Mediterranean Sea, in ports such as Genoa.
In addition, the contract would include an option for a sister vessel, the sources said.
Italian LNG bunkering chain in the making
To remind, Carnival Corporation’s Costa Cruises said in October last year its vessel Costa Smeralda completed the first LNG bunkering operation in Italy.
Although Italy’s LNG bunkering chain will need time to develop, this year will definitely see some new small-scale developments in the country.
These include the launch of Avenir LNG’s Higas small-scale terminal located on the Italian island of Sardinia but also the facility currently under construction in the Italian port of Ravenna.
Furthermore, OLT Offshore LNG Toscana has last year received approval to offload chilled fuel to small-scale vessels from its FSRU located off the coast between Livorno and Pisa.
The most recent approval involves Italy’s Venice LNG that plans to build and operate a small-scale terminal in Porto Marghera in the northern Adriatic Sea.