On Tuesday, French supermajor Total expressed their deeper commitment towards the liquefied natural gas (LNG) by chartering a refueling vessel for Europe-to-Asia trade routes.
A Clean fuel
The marine fuels division of Total signed a charter with Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, or MOL, which is a long-term charter commitment for a bunkering vessel scheduled for 2020 delivery.
The vessel was first designed for large-scale bunkering operations, to be built at a Chinese shipyard, and also as a service cargo vessel in northern European waters, including those traveling through the Europe-to-Asia trade routes.
Bunkering is the ship-to-ship transfer of fuel. The as-yet unnamed vessel will be used specifically for French container shipping company CMA CGM, following a 10-year agreement signed with Total in December.
Total in July said it was making strides on LNG as a fuel through its marine fuels subsidiary. Its first agreement for LNG bunkering was signed with Brittany Ferries, a French passenger and freight shipper that starts to get the supplies in 2019.
“Combined with our strong historical activity in the bunker industry and our global footprint in LNG, this pioneer agreement offers a major contribution to the development of LNG as a marine fuel and illustrates Total’s strong commitment towards the use of this new fuel,” Olivier Jouny, the managing director of Total’s fuels division, said in a statement.
The French supermajor said that LNG as a fuel source is a transformative move, given the maritime shipping industry’s quest towards emission cap for nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
Beyond the chartering agreements, Total and the Japanese transport company signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on maritime LNG infrastructure and provide supercooled liquid gas services for MOL’s future needs.
The new vessel for CGM’s lines will be managed by the British subsidiary of MOL.
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