Efforts are underway to develop Shanghai into an LNG bunkering hub to service the large containerships already calling at the port as well as to further enhance Shanghai as a regional hub in Asia. UK-based Avenir LNG announced a long-term cooperation agreement with Shanghai SIPG Energy Service Co. (SSES) for the marketing of LNG bunkering services. As part of the agreement, SSES will acquire Avenir’s recently completed 20,000 cmb LNG bunkering vessel, Avenir Allegiance, which is reported to be the largest LNG bunkering vessel yet built.
Avenir LNG, which is a partnership between Stolt-Nielsen, Hoegh LNG, and Golar LNG, has been working to build a global network for LNG bunkering. To service the maritime industry, Avenir announced that it would build six LNG bunkering vessels, including four in the 7,500 to 7,600 cbm capacity range and two larger 20,000 cbm vessels. With this agreement, Avenir’s bunkering network expands into the rapidly growing Chinese market adding another hub to its existing bunkering network in the Mediterranean, northwest Europe, and Malaysia.
Avenir will be responsible for the global marketing of LNG bunkering services in the port of Shanghai as well as supporting SSES with operational and technical services. SSES, a Chinese joint venture between Shanghai International Port Group and Shenergy Group, has the contract to deliver LNG bunkers to CMA CGM’s containerships on behalf of SIPG and is seeking to expand with additional customers.
“We are thrilled to play an important role in establishing and promoting China’s first LNG bunkering hub in Shanghai,” said Peter Mackey, CEO of Avenir LNG. “This deal marks another major achievement in Avenir’s development as we continue to expand our LNG bunkering network globally.”
In support of establishing Shanghai as a leading LNG bunkering hub, Avenir sold its first newbuild 20,000 cbm Avenir Allegiance to SSES. According to the companies, “Avenir Allegiance will provide LNG to the biggest LNG bunker customer at the largest container port in the world.”
The Avenir Allegiance was built at China’s Nantong CIMC Sinopacific Offshore & Engineering and delivered to Avenir in mid-December. Avenir had reported that the vessel, which is 525 feet long, would be chartered to an unnamed company. The company said that the 18,664 gross ton vessel has a flexible design that permits it to operate as both an LNG bunkering vessel and an LNG supply vessel. The vessel features WinGD dual-fuel propulsion and BOG reliquefication.
Avenir took delivery on the first of its smaller vessels in October 2020, the Avenir Advantage, and in 2021 took delivery on two additional vessels. The company recently announced that it would be chartering its second 20,000 cbm vessel, the Avenir Achievement, currently under construction at China’s CIMC SOE, to Shell beginning in 2023.
In addition to the six vessels, Avenir also has options with the shipyards to build up to four more LNG bunker vessels.
Source : Maritime Executive