Hudong–Zhonghua Shipbuilding, subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation on Thursday (30 April) announced the successful delivery of the world’s largest 18,600 cubic meter liquid natural gas (LNG) bunkering vessel, to be named Gas Agility.
Head of the Mitsui merchant ship supervision and manufacturing team, Kato Eiji, Deputy General Manager of the Sixth Division of China Shipbuilding Trading Co., Ltd., Lu Xinwei, and Chief Architect of Hudong Zhonghua LNG Ship, He Jianghua, signed the delivery agreement, it said.
The vessel is 135 meters long and is the world’s first LNG bunkering vessel to utilise GTT’s Mark III FLEX type membrane containment system. It is also fitted with innovative tank technologies such as the complete reliquefaction of boil-off gas to achieve zero vaporised gas loss.
The Gas Agility has the ability to bunker 23,000TEU LNG-powered container ships to sail 19,500 nautical miles, covering a round-trip voyage from Europe to the Far East, noted the company. It is also designed to achieve high re-fuelling rates utilising environmental pressure differentials between the bunkering vessel and the receiving ship.
As the vessel is also equipped with a natural gas incineration tower (GCU) and a nitrogen generator, it can also provide additional services such as servicing any refrigeration systems, and gas purging.
The ship has been installed with two full-rotation thrusters and a bow thruster, which can carry out independent lateral berthing operations in windy weather, and can realise “home delivery” to berth various LNG receiving ships independently.
Hudong Zhonghua says the construction process was affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the construction team had to work remotely with international service providers to ensure that they would be able to meet the deadline.
At present, there are only nine full-time LNG bunkering vessels with a capacity of more than 1,000 cubic meters in the world, with eight ships under construction. The company says it is confident the demand for LNG fuel ships will increase, and it is optimistic about the market prospects for LNG bunkering vessels.
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Photo credit: Hudong–Zhonghua Shipbuilding
Published: 4 May, 2020
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