World’s largest LNG-powered ship completes milestone bunkering op in Rotterdam

CMA CGM’s flagship LNG-powered giant containership Jacques Saade has marked another milestone on its maiden voyage by completing a bunkering operation with the Total-chartered Gas Agility in Rotterdam.

World’s largest LNG bunkering vessel Gas Agility supplied about 17,300 cbm of the fuel to the world’s biggest LNG-powered ship during an operation that took around 16 hours, according to the Port of Rotterdam.

In a separate statement, Total said the operation involved adding bio-LNG to even further reduce emissions. Biomethane accounted for about 13% of the quantity delivered, through the Guarantee of Origin certificates mechanism, it said.

To remind, the 400 meters long Jacques Saade left Hudong-Zhonghua’s yard in Shanghai on September 23.

The vessel is on its maiden voyage on the CMA CGM French Asia Line, comprising 13 calls over the course of 84 days.

The Jacques Saade is the first in a series of giant LNG-powered containerships. China State Shipbuilding Corporation’s Hudong and Jiangnan Shipyard are building in total nine 23,000 TEU LNG-powered sister vessels for the French container shipping group.

Hudong also built the 18,600-cbm Gas Agility that will fuel all of these vessels from its base in Rotterdam.

The LNG bunkering vessel owned by Japan’s MOL completed its first operation last week in Rotterdam delivering the fuel to the CMA CGM-chartered 15,000 TEU box ship Tenere.

CMA CGM is heavily banking on LNG as fuel and aims to have a fleet of 26 LNG-powered containerships by 2022.

Rotterdam LNG bunkering on the rise

The nine CMA CGM giants will be bunkering some 300,000 cbm of LNG in Rotterdam every year, substantially boosting the port’s throughput volumes in this segment.

The port of Rotterdam is a strong supporter of LNG as a bunker fuel and has developed one of the world’s biggest LNG fueling chains.

A total of nine LNG bunkering vessels operate in Rotterdam’s port area, of which three are working on a permanent basis, the port says.

Besides Jacques Saade, the port has this year welcomed many other new LNG-powered vessels including Heerema’s giant crane vessel Sleipnir and the P&O Cruises cruise ship Iona.

According to SEA LNG, a total of 175 LNG-powered sea-going vessels were in service worldwide as of January 2020.

Additionally, shipyards around the globe received orders for another 200 LNG-powered vessels.

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