‘Final Investment Decision’ for Europe’s First Such Vessel
As Multi-Truck Shore-to-Ship Bunkering Is Accomplished
Netherlands-based Titan LNG says it’s made the FID/final investment decision to build the FlexFueler1, described as the first bunkering pontoon, or non-powered barge, for liquefied natural gas in Europe. Titan says it will take advantage of financial support from the of the Province of North-Holland.
Separately, Titan reports the successful bunkering of an LNG-powered ship from two trucks simultaneously, effectively cutting fueling time in half via use of a new “T-piece.” Bunkering of Furetank’s LNG-diesel duel fuel tanker Fure West took place from multiple quayside tanker trailers in Amsterdam last month.
The FlexFueler1 bunkering pontoon will be equipped with two 380-cubic-meter LNG tanks for a total capacity of 200,000 gallons, with the option to add two more tanks should demand warrant.
The vessel is to be operational from the first quarter of 2018, inland water barges and small sea-going vessels from a stationary delivery location in Amsterdam (which Titan notes is the world’s second largest bunkering hub).
“Vessels that require bunkers to be delivered while simultaneously loading and discharging their own cargo, will be served by deploying the FlexFueler alongside these larger vessels” throughout the Amsterdam area, Titan says.
“Since the launch of the FlexFueler project in 2016 [HHP Insight, September 22], we have continuously incorporated feedback from key stakeholders resulting in an optimized design in terms of both functionality and safety,” Titan CEO Niels den Nijs says in a release, citing feedback from customers, ports, the shipyard and the BV/Bureau Veritas classification society.
“We believe that our decision to build the Titan LNG FlexFueler1 will contribute to the adoption of LNG as a marine fuel in this vital bunkering region,” den Nijs said. “The FlexFueler offers tremendous versatility when loading and delivering LNG. On top of the stationary and maneuverable delivery methods she can load LNG from trucks, LNG transport ships or via the Gate terminal in Rotterdam.
“This flexibility supports our robust delivery promise while ensuring long term cost competitiveness,” he said. FlexFueler1 will be 251 feet – 76.5 meters – in length, den Nijs told F&F.
“The FlexFueler concept is the logical evolution from the truck-to-ship bunkering that Titan LNG carries out on a regular basis,” said Titan LNG marine commercial director Michael Schaap. “We have a strong track record of making truck-to-ship as efficient as possible, but it is still far from optimal for a vessel owner because of the associated downtime.
T-Piece for the Fure West
“Our recently launched T-piece truck-to-ship operation, which allows for two trucks to discharge at the same time, already reduces the downtime,” Schaap said. Titan’s T-piece was demonstrated via the successful bunkering of the Fure West tanker at the “Groene Kade” (Green Quay) LNG facility in Amsterdam on May 19.
The combined pumping rate reached 28 tons – upwards of 16,000 gallons – per hour. “During the portcall six trucks in total were delivered using the T-piece,” Titan says.
“We really appreciate the efforts made by Titan LNG to deliver LNG to our ships,” Furetank managing director Lars Höglund says in Titan’s T-piece announcement.
‘Quick and Efficient’
“Quick and efficient bunkering operation is of the utmost importance to us,” Höglund said. “We look forward to continued cooperation with them.”
“We are very pleased to be the first port in the wider region that is able to approve the simultaneous discharging of two trucks,” said Port of Amsterdam commercial manager Didier de Beaumont.
‘A Solution That Resembles Conventional Bunkering Practices’
“We welcome this advance in efficiency, which will hopefully further accelerate the transition to LNG as a marine fuel with the associated environmental benefits,” he said.
But while faster short-to-ship fueling is desirable, said Titan LNG’s Schaap, “the FlexFueler represents a solution that resembles conventional bunkering practices, which is what the market demands.”
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Source: Titan LNG with Fleets & Fuels follow-up