Dunkerque LNG commissioning automated filling station

Dunkerque LNG the operator of France’s Dunkirk liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal is commissioning Europe’s first automated tank-truck LNG filling station.

This supply project forms part of the €50 million ($54.4 million) investment plan announced in February 2019 for the next three years.

The commissioning of the filling station in February 2020 marks the end of two years of studies and construction work. The work site was entrusted to Edison, an Italian engineering firm that is very familiar with the terminal, Dunkerque LNG noted.

As of June 2019, the teams within Dunkerque LNG and Gaz-Opale got involved in the project.

“We carried out, in particular, all of the test phases, which are essential for guaranteeing user safety and ensuring that the station functions correctly,” explains Souhail Lahlou, the engineer entrusted with this project.

The company Total Marine Fuels made a financial investment in this project. At the moment, it is the only client signed up to use this automated station.

“In 2020, the station is expected to fill 1,000 trucks but it has the capacity to fill 3,000 trucks per year. There is, therefore, substantial room for progress,” Lahlou added.

The terminal’s refilled tanks will be used, in particular, to bunker the Honfleur, the first LNG-powered vessel that is owned by Brittany Ferries and sails between Ouistreham in Normandy and Portsmouth in England. The tank trucks are hoisted by crane on to the vessel using gantries installed for this purpose. The containers fill a fixed LNG storage tank located to the aft of the vessel.

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