The state-of-the-art Cardissa has capacity to hold around 6,500 cubic meters of LNG bunker fuel, which it will load at Rotterdam’s Gate LNG import terminal, or other locations in Europe if needed.
Ordered in 2015, the vessel was built by STX Offshore & Shipbuilding and features an LNG transfer system and sub cooler unit making it capable of loading from big or small terminals and able to bunker a wide variety of customer vessels, including containerships, ferries and coastal vessels.
On Friday, Shell also announced that it has finalized a long-term agreement with a joint venture between Victrol NV and CFT to charter a LNG bunker barge with a capacity to carry 3,000 cubic meter of LNG fuel. The bunker barge will also operate out of Rotterdam and gives Shell even more flexibility to provide LNG bunkering services to a range of customers, including vessels operating on Europe’s inland waterways.
More ship owners and operators are choosing cleaner-burning LNG fuel over traditional marine fuels to respond to sulphur and nitrogen oxide emissions regulations, including the IMO’s recent decision to implement a global 0.5% sulphur cap in 2020.
“LNG as a marine fuel has an important role to play in the future energy mix,” said Steve Hill, Executive Vice President of Shell Energy. “With these bunker vessels, as well as the Gate terminal, Shell is demonstrating its commitment to building a robust and reliable supply chain to meet customer needs. With tougher emissions regulations on the horizon, we will continue to work closely with our customers and partners on cleaner energy solutions.”
The new bunkering vessels are the latest in Shell’s strategy to enhance its position in Europe’s natural gas and LNG market. In April, Shell announced an agreement with Sovcomflot to supply LNG for the word’s first LNG-powered Aframax crude oil tankers, which will operate in the Baltic Sea and Northern Europe, transporting crude oil and petroleum products.
Shell will also supply LNG fuel to the world’s first LNG-powered cruise ships following an agreement with Carnival Corporation. When completed, the two vessels will be the world’s largest passenger cruise ships and will enter service in northwest Europe and the Mediterranean in 2019.