First ship-to-ship LNG bunker operation in the Baltic Sea for the container feeder vessel “Wes Amelie” from the world’s largest LNG bunker supply vessel “Kairos”

First ship-to-ship LNG bunker operation in the Baltic Sea for the container feeder vessel “Wes Amelie” from the world’s largest LNG bunker supply vessel “Kairos”

On April 21th, 2019, the world’s first container ship retrofitted with a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) engine, the “Wes Amelie”, received LNG through a ship-to-ship operation from the world’s largest LNG bunker supply vessel “Kairos”. The operation took place in the anchorage area in front of Visby, Sweden. The transfer of LNG between the two vessels marks an important step in several aspects, with “Wes Amelie” having received LNG for the first time from a bunker supply vessel and the Baltic Sea in general seeing the first ship-to-ship LNG bunker operation for a vessel of that kind.

Mahinde Abeynaike, CEO of Nauticor, confidently stated, “We are proud that in cooperation with Unifeeder and Wessels Reederei we have been able to provide a state-of-the-art ship-to-ship LNG fuelling solution for “Wes Amelie”. The successful operation proves again that LNG is becoming a fuel for all segments in the shipping sector and that the availability of the molecules is secured in Northwest Europe. We are happy to support the efforts of those pioneers who are working on establishing LNG as fuel for containerships by providing highest quality standards and cost-efficient LNG supply solutions.”

“Wes Amelie”, owned by Wessels Reederei based in Haren/Ems, was the first of its kind to run on the environmental-friendly fuel, when the vessel was retrofitted in 2017. Running on a feeder route between Rotterdam and the Baltics, the vessel is operated by Unifeeder, which is providing the largest feeder and shortsea network in Europe.

Hans Staal, Head of Bunker Procurement of Unifeeder, highlighted the importance of this event, “We are glad that the first LNG ship-to-ship transfer for the “Wes Amelie” went well, due to the smooth cooperation between the ship’s crew, the Nauticor experts and our bunker team here at Unifeeder. As one of the first movers in the use of LNG as fuel for container vessels, we have a substantial interest in developing a comprehensive LNG supply infrastructure. The development of ship-to-ship supply chains, such as the one offered by Nauticor with “Kairos”, is an important step towards a more efficient LNG distribution.”

The container feeder segment is predestined for the use of LNG as marine fuel and ship-to-ship LNG bunkering is an elementary component” stated Christian Hoepfner, Managing Director of Wessels Marine, and confirms the advantages of using LNG as fuel, “Wes Amelie has convincingly shown that the use of LNG substantially benefits the environment along the feeder routes and raises advantages for the operators. Therefore, we are working on a number of similar projects to rapidly expand the fleet of eco-friendly vessels converted to LNG.””

Unifeeder A/S

The Unifeeder Group is a dynamic logistics company, which includes Unifeeder, a provider of the largest feeder and shortsea network in Europe, and sister company Unimed Feeder Services, a leading feeder operator in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The Unifeeder Group fleet consists of ≈ 50 vessels and the company has ≈ 420 employees across offices in Aarhus, Copenhagen, Drammen, Helsinki, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Gdynia, Stallingsborough, St. Petersburg and Limassol.

Nauticor GmbH & Co. KG

The Hamburg based company Nauticor GmbH & Co. KG is a leading supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel for ships. As a part of The Linde Group, a world-wide leading gas and engineering company, Nauticor combines a broad range of competencies in cryogenic technology, logistics, and bunkering to develop LNG supply solutions for maritime customers in Northwest Europe. It is Nauticor’s strategy to cover the entire LNG value chain from the terminal to the end customer, including sourcing, transport, storage and bunkering in strategically important ports.

Wessels Reederei GmbH & Co. KG

With a total fleet of 30 seagoing vessels, the Wessels Reederei is one of the largest German management companies for coasters. The fleet consists of 20 coasters, 4 container ships, and 6 multi-purpose freighters. The company, which has 45 employees at its headquarters in Haren/Ems, has always focused on optimizing fuel consumption and exhaust emissions as a critical component of its philosophy. Its initiatives range from measures to improve propulsion efficiency, implementation of software to increase the energy efficiency and the development of alternative propulsion systems.

Wessels Marine GmbH

Wessels Marine GmbH, Hamburg, is a consulting and project development company for the use of LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) as maritime fuel. The service profile covers technical, operational and commercial topics for the use of LNG and serves shipping companies, companies in the shipbuilding supply industry and LNG providers. Wessels Marine currently concentrates on LNG conversions of existing tonnage, newbuilding projects with LNG-based propulsion concepts, expansion of the water-side LNG bunker infrastructure and project-accompanying engineering and consulting services. 

Source and more information: Nauticor