The first LNG bunker vessel to be based in France, Marseille made by TotalEnergies Marine Fuels’ second collaboration with Japanese shipping giant Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), shipbuilder Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding has successfully completed sea and gas trials, marking another step towards the delivery and operational startup.
Thee ship, with a capacity of 18,600 cubic meters was launched in April 2021 in China by Hudong-Zhonghua. TotalEnergies Marine Fuels and MOL signed a long-term charter contract in November 2019 and construction started in April 2020.
The ship management team successfully conducted the gas trial of the ship in early July. Last month Marseille’s sea trials were conducted for navigation and propulsion systems which included speed and maneuverability assessments in the open sea. The vessel will be operated by V-Ships France, under the French flag and will be based in the Port of Marseilles, Southern France, to serve the Mediterranean region due to go into operational service in the final quarter of 2021.
The vessel’s first contracts will be to perform LNG bunkering services to CMA CGM’s LNG-fuelled containerships and MSC Cruises’ upcoming LNG-powered cruise ships that call at the French port.
The vessel’s improved features include an additional bow thruster, upgraded cargo pumps and high duty compressors, as well as a pressure reduction system to optimize bunkering operations of ‘Type C’ tank vessels under all conditions.
“We are excited to be at the forefront of making LNG bunkering capabilities readily available in France and the Mediterranean region,” said Jérôme Leprince-Ringuet, Vice-President Marine Fuels at TotalEnergies. “With shipping’s accelerating transition to this cleaner marine fuel, we look forward to providing our customers with another major European hub for their LNG bunkering needs” he added.
By the end of 2021, Total Energies Marine Fuel will charter two LNG bunkering vessels in Rotterdam and Marseille and share the use of a third bunker vessel in Singapore. In February 2021, the Singapore entity of TotalEnergies Marine Fuels also received a license from the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to supply LNG in the Port of Singapore.