World’s Largest LNG Bunkering Vessel Achieves Landmark VLCC Refueling

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Credits: Alvarez/Unsplash

The world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering vessel, Hai Yang Shi You 301 (Offshore Oil 301), has successfully completed its inaugural ship-to-ship bunkering operation involving a very large crude carrier (VLCC) at Guangzhou Port, reports Offshore Energy.

This significant milestone marks China’s debut in anchorage bunkering for VLCCs, a complex process necessitating meticulous coordination and heightened safety measures due to challenging tidal and weather conditions.

Significant milestone

During the meticulously executed 8.5-hour operation, the Offshore Oil 301, with an impressive capacity of 30,000 cubic meters, transferred approximately 6,500 cubic meters of LNG to the 320,000-ton dual-fuel tanker Maran Dione. This infusion of liquefied natural gas empowers the Maran Dione to embark on uninterrupted voyages spanning over 10,000 nautical miles, encompassing the round-trip journey from Guangzhou to Europe.

What makes this accomplishment even more remarkable is that the Offshore Oil 301 is the first LNG transportation and bunkering vessel to be independently conceived, constructed, and operated by China. This exemplifies China’s unwavering commitment to advancing its capabilities in the LNG bunkering sector.

China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the nation’s largest and the world’s second-largest LNG importer, is a pivotal player behind this success story. CNOOC has significantly invested in the development of LNG bunkering infrastructure and now boasts three international LNG bunkering centers, along with thirteen ship LNG refueling stations. This strategic approach has positioned CNOOC as a driving force in promoting the utilization of LNG as a cleaner marine fuel.

This achievement aligns perfectly with the global shift towards cleaner and more sustainable shipping practices. As the maritime industry seeks solutions to reduce emissions and comply with environmental regulations, LNG has emerged as a compelling option. With zero sulfur oxide emissions, a 90% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions, and a noteworthy 25% decrease in carbon dioxide emissions compared to conventional marine fuel oil, LNG is gaining widespread recognition for its eco-friendly attributes.

Future of LNG bunkering appears promising

Furthermore, the economic appeal of LNG is equally compelling. With a substantial 30% reduction in annual fuel costs, it presents an attractive solution, particularly for large-capacity and long-distance international ocean-going vessels. The global demand for LNG-powered transport ships is surging, propelling the dynamic growth of the LNG ship bunkering industry on a global scale.

Looking ahead, the future of LNG bunkering appears promising. Projections indicate that global LNG demand is poised to exceed 10 million tons by 2025 and surge to an impressive 30-45 million tons by 2030. China, as a frontrunner in LNG initiatives, is expeditiously constructing international ship LNG filling centers in key ports such as Tianjin, Xiamen, and Hainan as part of its “14th Five-Year Plan.” These strategic endeavors are geared towards bolstering the inland river LNG filling network and catalyzing regional LNG fuel applications.

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Source: Offshore Energy