Hudong lays keel for MOL’s 2nd large LNG bunkering vessel

China’s Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding has held a keel laying ceremony for the second LNG bunkering vessel owned by Japan’s MOL and chartered by France-based Total.

The unit of China State Shipbuilding Corporation says it held the ceremony on August 12.

Hudong started work on the LNG bunkering ship late April and carried out pre-fabrication works for several months prior to setting the vessels’ module in place for final assembly.

The 18,600-cbm capacity vessel will be 135 meters long, the same as the first ship in this batch chartered by Total and named Gas Agility.

MOL and Total claim these are the world’s largest LNG bunkering vessels.

To remind, Gas Agilty departed Hudong’s Jiangnan yard in May and its AIS data shows it is expected to reach Rotterdam on August 23.

In Rotterdam, it will be supplying the fuel to CMA CGM’s giant nine containerships but also other vessels in the Northern Europe area.

Both of the LNG bunkering ships feature GTT’s Mark III Flex membrane containment system and Wartsila’s dual-fuel engine.

Furthermore, Hudong says it would boost the performance of the second ship compared to its sister vessel.

As part of the upgrade, the ship will have a 25 percent higher loading and unloading rate for improved operations, according to the yard.

Once delivered in the second part of 2021, the LNG bunkering ship will be stationed in the Marseille-Fos area in France.

This vessel will supply LNG in the Mediterranean area to a wide range of vessels, including six containerships CMA CGM chartered from Eastern Pacific Shipping.

MOL will operate the vessel under French flag together with Gazocean, a unit of Total.

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