First LNG refuelling operation completed in BGTW, port says
A large crane vessel was refuelled with liquefied natural gas in British waters in the Bay of Gibraltar, in a first for the Rock that isalso believed to be the largest LNG bunkering operation in Europe to date.
The Panamanian semi-submersible crane vessel Sleipnir, owned by Heerema Marine Contractors, received almost 3,200 metric tonnes as it stopped in Gibraltar en route into the Mediterranean after sailing on its maiden voyage from Singapore and stopping in Cape Town, South Africa.
At anchor in the Bay of Gibraltar, the Sleipnir carried out a number of operations which included crew changes, spares, stores and LNG bunkering.
The LNG bunker was supplied by the LNG carrier Coral Fraseri, owned by Titan LNG, which arrived specifically to deliver the fuel to the crane vessel.
“This, to date, has been the largest LNG bunker supply in Europe, according to Titan LNG,” the Gibraltar Port Authority said in a statement.
The Sleipnir, which has a gross tonnage of 187,987 tonnes and houses 155 crew, sailed from British Gibraltar territorial waters on Thursday bound for Israel.
“The LNG bunkering operation was only allowed after key personnel from both vessels met with a team from the Gibraltar Port Authority, including the Captain of the Port, his deputy, senior officers, Bunkering Superintendent and the pilots,” the GPA said.
“The meeting was held at the port’s office with the aim of ensuring that all relevant safety protocols were in place and all GPA criteria were met.”
Niels den Nijs, CEO Titan LNG, said: “The operation was performed in the sheltered bay helping to make this a
safe, efficient and smooth operation."
"We thank Heerema for their trust and cooperation that made this a successful bunkering operation in Gibraltar. We look forward to supplying Heerema with more LNG in the future to fulfil Titan’s mission of lowering harmful emissions from the marine and industrial sector.”
The Captain of the Port also expressed his satisfaction with the way the operation had been conducted and said it highlighted Gibraltar's leading role within the maritime industry in the western Mediterranean.
The Minister for the Port and Maritime Affairs, Gilbert Licudi, hoped this was the start of more regular LNG bunkering activity within British Gibraltar territorial waters.