TotalEnergies Marine Fuels and MSC Cruise have completed the first LNG bunkering operation at Marseille/Fos, on MSC Cruises’ ’MSC World Europa’.
‘MSC World Europa’, which was delivered in October, 2022 by Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Saint Nazaire in France, is 333 m long and is claimed to be the best performing large cruise ship operating in the world in terms of CO2eq emissions per passenger.
TotalEnergies Marine Fuels’ chartered LNG bunker barge, ‘Gas Vitality’, refuelled the cruise ship via a ship-to-ship transfer involving 2,500 cu m of LNG at Marseille on 22nd April, while guest operations continued as normal.
The successful execution of these simultaneous operations (SIMOPs) underscores TotalEnergies’ Marine Fuels ability to safely deliver commercial LNG bunkering operations, the company said.
This operation marked the start of the LNG bunker supply contract between TotalEnergies and the Cruise Division of MSC Group signed in March, 2021, as the companies drive forward their respective de-carbonisation plans.
Under the agreement, TotalEnergies Marine Fuels will supply around 45,000 tonnes per year of LNG to MSC Cruises’ vessels at Marseille.
“We are excited to support the Cruise Division of MSC Group in their de-carbonisation journey and to help the Port of Marseille/Fos become an LNG bunker hub for the Mediterranean region,” said Philippe Charleux, Senior Vice President Lubricants and Specialties, TotalEnergies.
“This operation also expands our LNG bunkering capabilities to the cruise ship segment, demonstrating our ability to serve a broader range of shipping clients, as the industry strives to reduce emissions.
“In line with TotalEnergies’ Climate ambition, we will continue to work hand-in-hand with our industry partners to develop and scale up new, lower-carbon and ultimately, zero-carbon fuel solutions for shipping,” he said.
Patrick Pourbaix, Managing Director of MSC Cruises in France, added: “This first LNG bunkering operation in Marseille is an important milestone for our company, as we welcome ’MSC World Europa’ for her first summer season in the Mediterranean.
“Featuring a range of unprecedented innovations in terms of environmental and marine technologies, ’MSC World Europa’ represents a major step forward on our journey towards meeting our target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
“LNG is not only the cleanest marine fuel currently available at scale, but also a transitional fuel as we look ahead to source and use synthetic LNG or other alternative non-carbon fuels, as soon as they become available at scale,” he concluded.
This operation also paves the way forward for all ports in the Mediterranean to meet the new IMO regulations taking effect in 2025, as part of its new Emission Control Area (ECA) designation.
TotalEnergies Marine Fuels currently charters two 18,600 cu m LNG bunker vessels: ‘Gas Agility’, at Rotterdam, Netherlands; and ‘Gas Vitality’, at Marseille/Fos, France.
Since the start of its LNG bunkering operations in November, 2020, both vessels have performed over 100 LNG bunkering operations.