Record LNG Bunkering for Dredger in Germany

The hopper dredger Scheldt River being fueled at the Elbehafen in Brunsb?ttel.
The hopper dredger Scheldt River being fueled at the Elbehafen in Brunsb?ttel.

By The Maritime Executive 2018-02-13 18:00:10

Nauticor conducted the largest-ever LNG bunkering operation in Germany on Monday when the hopper dredger Scheldt River was fueled at the Elbehafen in Brunsbüttel. 

The 116-meter (380-foot) dredger received 85 tons of LNG from five trucks. Nauticor used two trucks simultaneously, a technique that has been successfully applied several times and allows for significant time savings. 

The Scheldt River is currently conducting maintenance dredging works for the water authority Wasserstraßen and Schifffahrtsamt Cuxhaven on the Elbe River between Cuxhaven and Wedel. Additional LNG bunker operations for the vessel in the Elbehafen Brunsbüttel are already planned.

Carsten Lorleberg, Project Manager for LNG at Brunsbüttel Ports, said: “The bunker operation for Scheldt River in the Elbehafen shows that LNG is increasingly establishing itself as an environmentally-friendly fuel alternative, and that LNG bunker operations can be integrated into daily port operations without apprehension.”

Previous successful bunking operations at the Elbehafen Brunsbüttel include the first filling of the LNG tank wagon from VTG and a truck-to-ship bunker operation for the cement carrier Ireland

Plans for the first German LNG import terminal are taking shape in the port and industrial park at Brunsbüttel. Recently, the companies Gasunie LNG Holding, Oiltanking and Vopak LNG Holding founded the joint venture German LNG Terminal GmbH. The joint venture will build, own and operate an import terminal for LNG in Northern Germany, located at Brunsbüttel. Its close vicinity to the Port of Hamburg as well as to the local industrial companies creates an attractive environment for such business, say the companies. Easy access to the Scandinavian and Baltic countries is possible via the Kiel Canal, which connects the North and Baltic Seas. The terminal will offer easier access to LNG for bunkering.

Nauticor expects to have a new bunkering vessel in operation at the end of the year. An LNG World Shipping survey indicates that there are now five such vessels in service and 10 on order.

Earlier this month, a 7,600m³ vessel was announced that was ordered by Germany-based Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement in late 2016 and is currently under construction to Lloyd's Register class at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard’s Ulsan shipyard. News of the vessel came after an announcement by Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions (TMFGS) and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) that they have signed a long-term charter contract for a large LNG bunker vessel of 18,600 cbm capacity, to be delivered in 2020. 

Other LNG bunkering vessels that have entered service include the 6,500 cbm Cardissa operated from Shell’s base in Rotterdam and the 5,800 cbm Coralius on long-term charter to Skangas. Also, the Engie Zeebrugge, jointly owned by Engie, Mitsubishi Corporation, NYK Line and Fluxys, with a capacity of 5,000 cbm, will service customers in Northern Europe under the brand Gas4Sea. Bomin Linde LNG has a 7,500 cbm vessel on order which is expected to supply customers along the Baltic Sea coast later this year.