AET Insights

First LNG bunkering of Dual-Fuel Aframaxes

In an exciting next step, we have successfully completed the first LNG bunkering of our recently delivered LNG Dual-Fuel Aframaxes Eagle Brasilia and Eagle Bintulu, two of the world’s pioneering LNG Dual-Fuel Aframax tankers. Both vessels have been taken on long-term charter by Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited (Shell), primarily for operations in the North West Europe, and were bunkered by LNG bunker barge Cardissa at the Port of Rotterdam.

Both bunkering procedures were coordinated by MISC Group’s Integrated Marine Services unit, the technical manager and the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) engineers, ensuring the highest standards of safety are met. By combining Group expertise in handling LNG and petroleum, Eaglestar is in a strong position to prove the operational and environmental benefits of LNG as a bunker fuel as the shipping industry works to meet more stringent emissions regulations.

The inaugural bunkering of these vessels marks an important development in achieving AET’s environmental sustainability goals. In a very positive trend, we are seeing many more companies now working on developing LNG bunkering solutions, so being able to show leadership in this arena is very important to us. By demonstrating best practice in LNG bunkering, we hope to demonstrate the viability of LNG as a solution for reducing shipping emissions by 50% by 2050, in line with IMO targets.

Both Eagle Brasilia and Eagle Bintulu have been fitted with an LNG supply system, ‘S-Fugas’. This eliminates Sulphur Oxide (SOx) emissions by 99%, Nitrous Oxide (NOx) emissions by 85% and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20%.  The S-Fugas is a core technology which vaporises LNG at the temperature of -163⁰ to supply gas to the vessel’s main engines and generators.

For both vessels, the entire bunkering procedure from the bunker vessel’s arrival to departure took around 36 hours, including an extended cool down period of 24 hours, and a bulk loading average hourly rate of about 300 cbm per hour. The extra time was used for securing the vessel and initial/final purging and draining operations.

As this was the first LNG bunkering operation for each of the vessels, the cool down period was extended, but future average cool down periods should be minimal, with a regular loading period of five to six hours, as long as the vessel does not deplete her LNG bunkers fully. The vessel’s continuous system is equipped with boil oil gas (BOG) that enables her to undertake the LNG bunkering without a vapour return line to the bunkering vessel.