Spanish LNG terminal operator Enagás informed that Armon shipyard in Gijon laid the keel for the first LNG bunkering vessel to be built in Spain.

Keel laid for first Spanish-built LNG bunkering vessel
Courtesy of Enagás

The project is driven by Enagás that, through its small-scale LNG supply infrastructure unit, Scale Gas, and the shipping company Knutsen OAS Shipping.

The project is also being promoted by the Port of Barcelona, Enagás said in its statement.

The initiative is framed within the European Union’s funding programme for transport, Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which has approved €9 million ($190.7 million) for its implementation, and is part of the institutional strategy ‘LNGhive2’ led by Puertos del Estado. It aims to support the development of the LNG market as a sustainable maritime fuel.

The ship will be operated by Knutsen OAS Shipping and will use the Enagás LNG terminal in Barcelona for the loading and supply of LNG in a charter contract with Shell Spain.

Shell plans to double its existing LNG bunkering infrastructure on key international trade routes by the mid-2020s and this vessel will play an important role in that journey as we serve more customers in the Mediterranean region with LNG.

In 2019, Shell completed the first LNG ship to ship bunkering in Barcelona and look forward to working with the partners in this project on the safe delivery of this vessel, demonstrating their/its ability and commitment to providing reliable supplies within the region that help meet the growing need for cleaner fuels.

Shipyard Armon Gijón is in charge of building the vessel.

The ship will have a storage capacity of 5,000 cubic meters of LNG, be 92.75 meters in length, with a beam of 16.90 meters and draught of 4.25 meters.

It will be powered by LNG and will comply with all safety measures, as established by the different regulations, Enagás said

Bunkering operations in Spain

During 2020, bunkering operations in Spain have increased 3.7 compared to 2019 (199 operations in 2019 vs 741 operations in 2020).

According to the DNV/GL certifier, there are 170 LNG-powered vessels operating in the world, 222 on request and 126 that are called “LNG ready”.

This new ship will add to the 15 barges that already supply LNG in the world, six of which are operating in Spain, and will reinforce the country’s role in the supply of LNG to ships.

This progress has been made possible thanks to the development and investment of approximately €246 million made by the partners of the public-private initiatives ‘CORE LNGas hive’ and ’LNGhive2’, of which €59 million is co-financed by the European Commission.

These initiatives involve 49 partners, 21 public ones that include 13 port authorities and 28 private or industrial.

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