European small-scale LNG player Molgas is working to further expand its liquefied natural gas bunkering business as the demand for the fuel continues to grow.
Molgas, owned by French private equity firm InfraVia Capital Partners, has significantly expanded its operations in the last two years, including the industrial sector, truck filling stations, and bunkering.
In 2021, the Madrid-based firm completed a deal with LNG giant Shell to buy Norway’s LNG supplier Gasnor and in the year after it acquired a controlling stake in Greece’s small-scale LNG firm, Blue Grid.
Now Molgas is working to “expand the existing footprint of the group (terminal-to-ship, multi-truck-to-ship, and ship-to-ship), opening new ports, and enabling the clients LNG supply across strategic locations in Europe,” COO Juan Menchero told LNG Prime on Friday.
The LNG bunkering business in Europe was hit last year due to surging prices. However, prices dropped significantly this year and owners such as Spain’s Balearia are now supplying only LNG to their dual-fuel vessels.
In addition, orders for LNG-powered vessels were at similar levels last month when compared to some months during the record last year, according to DNV.
DNV’s data shows that there are now 411 LNG-powered ships in operation around the globe, while owners placed orders for 526 LNG-fueled vessels.
Algericas LNG bunkering op
As part of its plans to further grow its LNG bunkering business, Menchero said that Molgas recently completed the first multi-truck-to-ship delivery at the Port of Algeciras.
The operation took place on July 5 and 6 and Molgas supplied about 110 tons of the fuel to an LNG-powered chemical tanker.
Molgas loaded LNG at the Enagas-operated terminals in Huelva and Cartagena.
Prior to the unloading of three LNG trucks, a cooldown and gas up process took place.
Working in close coordination with the Port of Algeciras, the group managed the unloading of three LNG trucks simultaneously, followed by an additional three trucks.
Menchero added that Molgas can complete such operation with up to four trucks simultaneously.