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Marseille Fos set to offer LNG bunkering

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View of the Marseille port

Work is underway for the imminent provision of LNG bunkering facilities at Marseille Fos following a feasibility study initiated by the port authority aimed at reducing the impact of ship emissions. 

In late 2017 the authority set up a working group to examine relevant logistical options for supporting the promotion of LNG as an environmentally friendly marine fuel.  The group included interested shipowners, the managers of the two LNG terminals in Fos – Elengy and Fosmax LNG – and supplier Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions.

A master plan developed between March and July this year detailed the investment schedule and possible operational methods that would enable implementation within a short time frame, with two solutions confirmed as feasible:

  • the rapid development of refuelling facilities via trucks, which initially would serve ferries and then continue as an option if refuelling vessels were unavailable
  • putting one or more refuelling vessels in place to serve cruise, ferry and container vessels

Preparations have now started with this timescale in mind.  Fosmax LNG is investing to adapt its Fos Cavaou terminal to receive small LNG refuelling carriers from next summer in a service offering 50 slots per year.  Meanwhile Elengy is planning an extension at the Fos Tonkin terminal that will provide 100 loading slots per year for small refuelling vessels from 2021.

Welcoming the working group outcome, the Marseille Fos port authority noted that LNG was economically very competitive, eliminated almost all sulphur and particulate emissions, reduced nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 80% and cut carbon dioxide emissions by up to 25% compared with current marine fuels – and therefore offered an immediate alternative in response to environmental challenges.

The authority added that the participants’ involvement in a shared vision would establish a sustainable economic sector and lead to concrete measures for reducing the emissions of all port traffic.

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