UK-based small-scale player Avenir LNG has joined forces with energy trader Vitol to complete what it says is Germany’s first direct LNG unloading operation from a transport vessel into trucks.
On February 22 and 23, the 7,500-cbm LNG bunkering and supply vessel, Avenir Ascension, unloaded LNG directly into transport trucks in the Mukran port on the island of Ruegen, Germany, according to a statement by Avenir LNG.
The trucks were provided by Vitol and transported LNG onwards to their growing European truck fueling station network, which is owned and operated by Vitol’s subsidiary ViGo Bioenergy, it said.
Vitol bought a majority share in Berlin-based LNG firm Liquind, now renamed ViGo Bioenergy, back in 2021.
Avenir LNG said that the operation in Mukran was prepared as a pilot project to demonstrate the viability of setting up an energy supply chain for decentralized regions without the requirement for large-scale LNG unloading and terminal infrastructure
The vessel was at berth for three days, with LNG unloading operations completed during this time.
Also, the necessary preparations for the test operation were completed within weeks rather than the extended development period required for larger, permanent infrastructure such as onshore terminals or FSRUs.. it said.
The short development time allows Avenir to develop its global LNG small-scale supply infrastructure in line with customer requirements and set up LNG and bio-LNG supply chains rapidly and in a flexible way in the future in other areas too, it said.
Prior to this operation, the Mukran port on the island of Ruegen welcomed the 2009-built 145,000-cbm FSRU Neptune in November last year. After that, the unit started serving the Deutsche ReGas-operated project in Lubmin, Germany’s second FSRU-based facility.
Germany is working on in total six FSRU-based facilities, including this first private facility in Lubmin.
“Germany has moved quickly to build out large-scale LNG import infrastructure to support gas security of supply into the grid,” Peter Mackey, CEO of Avenir LNG said in the statement.
“This new ship-to-truck initiative is focused on supplying the German market for trucked LNG which is one of the largest markets in Europe and is so far not served by any of the large-scale FSRU based projects,” Mackey said.