First LNG Ship-to-Ship Bunkering Completed in France

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The first ship-to-ship LNG bunkering operation recently took place in France at the Port of Marseille Fos.

The Costa Smeralda, only the second cruise ship in the world to be powered entirely by liquefied natural gas, required an LNG delivery while berth in the port during the current suspension in cruising.

(courtesy Port of Marseille Fos)

Shell, which operates under contract to Costa Cruises, owners of the cruise ship, arranged for the ship-to-ship bunkering operation. The Coral Methane tied up alongside the Costa Smeralda’s bunker station and a hose was positioned by crane followed by the installation of various equipment to allow for the safe transfer of the LNG.  The actual refueling was completed overnight. 

This operation was carried out in coordination between the ship services of the Port of Marseille Fos (lookout, piloting, towing, mooring), the crew of the Costa Smeralda, a team from Shell and the crew of the Coral Methane. Marseille’s fire fighters also monitored the operation.

“We are all proud to have been able to complete this operation smoothly and safely. It required studies, instructions and procedures to be agreed with the various players, and in line with European and global standards,” said Amaury de Maupeou, the Marseille Fos Port Authority Commander.

The port noted that this was the first time this type of operations had been carried out in France.  It had been made necessary because of the current global health crisis but the port noted that it demonstrated that it is capable of supporting the development of LNG, which is one of the measures deployed by the Port of Marseille Fos to reduce its environmental impact.