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Europe’s first inland-waterway liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker vessel has performed her first bunkering operations, with the Containerships Polar and Containerships Nord vessels, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The LNG London (which is owned by LNG Shipping – cooperation between Victrol and Sogestran) is on long-term charter to Shell. It will primarily be used by Shell for LNG bunkering in the ports of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp.

“The entry into service of LNG London shows our ability and commitment to providing safe and reliable supplies that help meet the growing need for cleaner-burning fuel,” Tahir Faruqui, General Manager, Shell Global Downstream LNG, said. “We are pleased to have three LNG bunker vessels in our fleet and look forward to others joining them in the future.”

Gisèle Buelens, CEO of Victrol, said: “In 2017, Shell selected us to build an inland LNG bunker vessel. As pioneers in bunker vessels, we designed a completely new vessel that complies with the latest safety and operational requirements. We are pleased that she has completed her first operation and that many more LNG bunkering operations will take place in the years ahead.”

Pascal Girardet, CEO of Sogestran, said: “We are very proud of LNG London, the first inland LNG bunkering ship in Europe. The inland capability offers clear logistical benefits for end users, benefits that will help drive the growth of LNG as a cleaner marine fuel.”

LNG London will be loaded with LNG at the Gate terminal in Rotterdam. An innovative transfer system enables the delivery of LNG to seagoing vessels, inland barges and terminals onshore, while a restricted air draft allows the barge to sail via inland waterways to Antwerp and Amsterdam if required.

When compared to traditional marine fuels, natural gas significantly reduces NOx and reduces overall GHG emissions by up to 21%, according to a “well-to-wake” emissions study by Thinkstep. Given the International Maritime Organization’s 0.5% sulphur cap implementation by 2020, there is an increasing interest from the international marine community to consider LNG as a marine fuel.

Reference: shell.com

 

Published in international

After years of trying, Maersk Group has admitted that it cannot find a buyer for its offshore vessel division, Maersk Supply Service. 

Citing the continued market oversupply, extensive consolidation, years of market distress and a poor OSV sector outlook, Maersk said that the division's valuation and market cap has been reduced. This has made it difficult to find a buyer or other exit solution, Maersk said. 

“We have over the past two years been investigating various structural solutions for Maersk Supply Service. However, having been unable to establish any solutions meeting our objective of creating shareholder value, we have decided to retain Maersk Supply Service,” said Claus V. Hemmingsen, Vice CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk and CEO of the Energy division.

Maersk said that the offshore supply division has been investing in new business lines and that this effort is paying off. In 2018, about 30 percent of Maersk Supply Service’s revenue was generated from new business, including offshore wind, ocean cleanup and deep-sea mining.

“Our diversification initiatives are building presence in other markets and enable us to be less dependent on the traditional Oil & Gas market in the future," said Maersk Supply CEO Steen S. Karstensen. "With our modern fleet and skilled people, we are well positioned to take advantage of market opportunities in the future and differentiate us from our peers." 

The division's 44-vessel fleet has an average age of less than ten years, and it is still accepting delivery of newbuilds that it ordered in 2014, before the market downturn began.

Maersk Supply Service is far from the only operator in the sector to face challenging business conditions. Bourbon Offshore has deferred its debt repayments, sold off ships and cut crew levels amidst persistent underutilization and low day rates. Tidewater and Gulfmark both went through bankruptcy, then merged under Tidewater's ownership.

 

Reference: maritime-executive.com

Published in international

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