Following delivery in May this year, the LNG bunkering newbuild Gas Agility arrived in Europe in August to begin operations. Her home port is Rotterdam. A sister vessel for delivery later this year will operate from the Port of Marseille-Foss. These are the world’s largest LNG bunker vessels.
- Built by Jiangnan Shipyard, Shanghai
- Owned and operated by Mitsui OSK Lines
- Chartered by Total Energy Services
- LOA 135m
- Beam 24m
- Capacity 18,600 cbm
Gas Agility has been contracted by France’s Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions to provide up to 300,000 tons of LNG per year for a period of at least 10 years in support of CMA CGM’s nine 23,000 TEU capacity ultra-large containerships destined for the Europe-Asia trade. The first of these is CMA CGM Jacques Saade, named after the company’s founder. Born in Beirut. Mr. Saade passed away in 2018 at the age of 81, having built a hugely successful business empire. He is succeeded by his son Randolphe.
The CMA CGM Jacques Saade class ships feature the biggest ever dual-fuel marine engines weighing about 2,100 tons, each with a capacity of 18,600 cbm. The WinGD’s 12X92DF engines have a maximum power rating of 63,840 kW or about 85,611 hp. CMA CGM is also taking delivery of five new 15,000 TEU containerships and six smaller vessels of 1,400 TEU, all with LNG propulsion.
With the IMO mandated switch to lower sulphur fuel having been implemented in January this year, there was an initial rush by some owners to install Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (scrubbers) as an alternative compliance option which allows for the continued use of traditional bunker fuel. Given the unexpected relatively low fuel price differential between these fuels, the attraction of scrubbers has diminished but the decision of CMA CGM to lead the container world in LNG propulsion seems certain to be vindicated as shipping strives to meet the IMO’s long term emission reduction targets.
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