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World’s largest LNG bunkering vessel completes 1st ship-to-ship bunkering

China’s first domestically built LNG bunkering vessel has completed its first ship-to-ship bunkering operation.

Image credit: CSSC Global

The bunkering op was completed on January 18 and it saw the 30,000 cubic meters LNG bunkering ship Hai Yang Shi You 301  (Offshore Oil 301) refuel CMA CGM’s 23,000TEU dual-fuel container ship CMA CGM Concorde at Yantian Port, Shenzhen.

China Classification Society (CCS) provided assistance onsite to facilitate the operation.

The vessel incorporates China’s first domestically developed LNG ship-to-ship bunkering system jointly developed by China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and compatriot global energy company CNOOC Energy Development Co., Ltd.

According to CSSC, the system consists of emergency release devices, quick connection devices, cryogenic hoses, ship distance detection devices, saddles and anti-fall systems. The system has a designed bunkering capacity of 1650m³ per hour.

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CSSC said that the bunkering showed that the system can enable safe and rapid LNG filling between ships, and that the development of the system strengthens the production capability of the Chinese marine LNG industry chain.

The bunkering vessel was delivered to China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) in November 2022 following a conversion project at China State Shipbuilding Corporation’s subsidiary Guangzhou Shipbuilding International (GSI). The entire conversion process was monitored by CCS which also carried out the necessary risk assessments and classed the vessel upon the completion of the conversion.

The vessel has been described as the world’s largest LNG bunker vessel based on its capacity.

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The conversion is the first project of its kind in China, and it forms part of the country’s national strategy of carbon peaking and achieving carbon neutrality by switching to greener fuels.