The first LNG bunkering vessel to be based in France was officially named Gas Vitality in a ceremony held October 26 at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, China. Following the signing of a long-term charter contract in November 2019, the 18,600-cubic-meter bunkering vessel is the second to be built at the shipyard in a cooperation with TotalEnergies Marine Fuels and shipowner Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. (MOL). All three parties first collaborated in 2018 to design and build sister ship Gas Agility, which has been operating in the Port of Rotterdam since November 2020.
Classed by Bureau Veritas and operated by V.Ships France under the French flag, the Gas Vitality will enter operational service in December 2021. She will be based in the Port of Marseille-Fos, Southern France, to serve the Mediterranean region and will bunker CMA CGM’s LNG-fueled containerships and MSC Cruises’ upcoming LNG-powered cruise ships that call at the French port.
“We are delighted to officially name our second chartered LNG bunker vessel. The Gas Vitality is a testament of our commitment to provide our shipping customers with another major European hub to help meet their LNG bunkering needs,” said Jérôme Leprince-Ringuet, Vice-President Marine Fuels at TotalEnergies. “With the accelerated pace of transition to marine LNG we are witnessing among ship owners, it shows the shipping industry’s readiness to act today to curb their current greenhouse gas emissions, whilst paving the way for future, alternative fuel solutions such as bioLNG and other cryogenic fuels. We will continue to work closely with stakeholders across the value chain to expand the range of solutions that will help to decarbonize shipping.”
The Gas Vitality is a 135 meters long GTT Mark III membrane vessel. She incorporates a range of features that include:
- Increased loading and bunkering rate by 25%, to a maximum of 2000m3/hr, through upgraded cargo pumps and high duty compressors.
- New pressure reduction system to optimize bunkering operations of ‘Type C’ tank vessels under all conditions.
- Azimuth propellers and two bow thrusters, delivering an extremely high degree of maneuverability enabling tug-free operations in port and further reducing the environmental impact of her operations.
- Two manifolds for enhanced ship-to-ship bunkering flexibility across vessel types and sizes.
- Equipped to offer Electronic Bunker Delivery Notes (e-BDN) to her customers.
- Onboard re-liquefaction of the boil-off gas is further used for propulsion and for the vessel’s own power generation.