THE first LNG bunker vessel to be based in France was officially named Gas Vitality at a ceremony held recently at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in China.

The 18,600 cubic-metre newbuild bunker vessel is TotalEnergies Marine Fuels’ second collaboration with shipowner MOL and shipbuilder Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbulding after the signing of a long-term charter contract in November 2019.

The three companies first collaborated to design and build Gas Vitality’s sister ship, Gas Agility, which has been operating in the Port of Rotterdam since November 2020.

Gas Vitality is to enter operation service in December, and it will be based at the Port of Marseille-Fos to serve the Mediterranean region.

The vessel is to provide LNG bunker services to CMA CGM’s LNG-fuelled containerships and MSC Cruises’ upcoming LNG-powered cruise ships that call the French port.

TotalEnergies vice-president marine fuels Jérôme Leprince-Ringuet said the Gas Vitality is a testament of the company’s commitment to provide its customers with another European hub to meet their LNG bunkering needs.

“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,” Mr Leprince-Ringuet said.

“We will continue to work closely with stakeholders across the value chain to expand the range of solutions that will help to decarbonize shipping.”

MOL senior managing executive officer Kenta Matsuzaka said the new vessel is a significant milestone in the long-term partnership between MOL and TotalEnergies throughout the LNG supply chain.

“I am confident that our commitment to deliver LNG as a marine fuel will accelerate the transition to LNG fuel as a competitive, environmentally efficient and immediately available solution for the maritime industry,” Mr Matsuzaka said.

Gas Vitality vessel particulars

Delivery date: 31 October 31, 2021

Shipyard: Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in China

Ship registry/class: France/Bureau Veritas (BV)

LOA: 135.9 metres

Breadth: 24.5 metres

Draught: 16.0 metres

Deadweight tonnage: 8780 tonnes

Cargo tank capacity: 18,600 cubic metres

Cargo tank system: Membrane GTT Mark III Flex