Boluda launches towage services in Port of Lubmin, helps accommodate FSRU Neptune

Boluda Towage, part of Spain’s Boluda Corporación Marítima, has dispatched four tugs to Lubmin, a small port located in the German Bay of Greifswald in the Baltic Sea region.

The company has played a central role in the planning for the maneuvering of the floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) Neptune into the port in mid-December.

 Due to the narrow space in the Lubmin harbor basin, large LNG carriers cannot enter or approach the FSRU facility. Therefore, one storage vessel (FSU) will be anchored outside the port and a set of three smaller LNG carriers will provide transportation between the FSU storage vessel and the FSRU facility.

“Prior to the arrival of the FSRU Neptune, Boluda Towage and Nautitec, a simulation center in Leer, Germany, investigated how to safely maneuver the FSRU Neptune in the small harbor basin of Lubmin (with a maneuvering space of less than two meters),” Boluda said.

“They undertook weeks of intensive simulation training, during which the company’s tug Masters were trained to accurately maneuver in a specialized trailer configuration and learned how to man the trailer as precisely as possible.”

The close collaboration between Boluda Towage, Deutsche ReGas, Nautitec, local port authorities, and pilots, paved the way for the necessary preparations for the establishment of the LubminLNG terminal.

As we reported earlier, FSRU Neptune arrived at the industrial port of Lubmin in Germany on December 16, signaling that the tests can soon begin at the country’s first and so far only privately financed LNG terminal.

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Deutsche ReGas chartered the FSRU Neptune from French energy major TotalEnergies under the contract signed in July 2022 and kicked off the construction of the LNG terminal in Lubmin on 20 September.

Once it starts delivering LNG, the terminal is expected to feed up to 4.5 billion cbm of gas annually into the German transmission network.

If granted the permissions soon, the Lubmin terminal could become the second operational FSRU-based terminal in Germany, following in the footsteps of the newly commissioned Wilhelmshaven facility.

“We enjoy being part of a great team and are grateful to help DeutscheReGas with the ambition to create LubminLNG. We would also like to dedicate a special thanks to Nautitec and Boluda Towage’s Tow Masters and Tug Masters for taking on the responsibility. Seeing such commitment to professional preparation and accomplishment by our team makes us proud and is an example of passion for high quality service and safe towing operations,” Boluda Towage Germany managing director Boris Szczesik said.

Together with Nautitec, a more specific simulation training for the towing of small vessels is scheduled to be carried out by Boluda Towage’s four tugs.

At the current start of operations in the port of Lubmin, Boluda Towage has a fleet of four powerful tugs (VB LUCA, VB FRITZI, VB IVY and VB HENNY) in the range of 60.2 tons up to 79 tons with fixed-point pulling and fire fighting capabilities.

The company said that the required tug capacity can be expanded according to the needs and requests of the clients in the port.