Hapag-Lloyd, Titan, and STX in ‘largest’ ship-to-ship bio-LNG bunkering operation

Titan Clean Fuels, a supplier of LNG and liquefied biomethane (LBM) or bio-LNG, and STX Group have conducted what is said to be the largest ship-to-ship delivery of LBM to Hapag-Lloyd’s container ship in the Port of Rotterdam.

Titan's Alice Cosulich bunker vessel delivering LBM to Hapag-Lloyd’s Brussels Express container ship. Courtesy of Titan.

During the ship-to-ship bunkering operation Titan’s Alice Cosulich bunker vessel delivered 2,200 metric tons of LBM to Hapag-Lloyd’s Brussels Express ship, also known as the world’s first large container ship that was converted to gas propulsion.

This transaction marks Hapag-Lloyd’s entry into using LBM as sustainable shipping fuel, representing the largest ship-to-ship bunkering operation known to date, the partners said.

For this operation, STX Group and Titan Clean Fuels collaborated to liquify, store, and deliver mass-balanced biomethane in Zeebrugge in Belgium under ISSC certification fully recognized under the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive known as RED II.

According to SEA-LNG, a multi-sector industry coalition promoting LNG as a marine fuel, LBM or bio-LNG used in the maritime industry is produced from sustainable biomass feedstocks such as human or agricultural waste, which means it does not compete with the production of food, fiber, or fodder, as defined by regulations such as the EU’s RED II and the Renewable Fuel Standards in America.

Annual production of biomethane, from which bio-LNG is produced, is currently around 30m tonnes or around 10% of shipping’s total annual energy demand. 

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Jan Christensen, Senior Director of Fuel Purchasing at Hapag-Lloyd, commented on the development: “This pioneering deal demonstrates that bunkering large quantities of liquefied Biomethane is possible and scalable. However, there is still more progress required regarding the necessary infrastructure and the regulatory framework. For us, bunkering liquefied Biomethane is another measure in our step-by-step approach to further decarbonise our operations to reach our goal of becoming net-zero by 2045.”

The German container shipping major revealed it had managed to reduce the absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of its fleet by 0.8 million tonnes in 2023 compared to the previous year.

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