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Zeebrugge performs bunkering of LNG tugboat

LNG Industry,

The world’s first tugboat fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the M/T Borgoy, arrived in the Port of Zeebrugge for a bunkering operation. The ‘truck to ship’ bunkering operation was the first to be performed in the port.

The tug M/T Borgoy is the first tugboat in the world fuelled by LNG. The maritime sector is facing increasingly stricter emission regulations, which has resulted in an interest for LNG as a maritime fuel. This tugboat emits almost 30% less CO2 and up to 90% less NOx and fine dust than conventionally powered tugs.

LNG tug boat

M/T Borgoy is the first of two identical tugboats ordered by the Norwegian BUBE (Buksér og Berging AS). The tug left the Sanmar shipyard in Turkey and set sail for Karsto in Norway to begin her long-term operational contract for Statoil. The ship bunkered in the Port of Zeebrugge to fuel up on LNG for her maiden voyage.

The LNG fuelling operation carried out is known as ‘truck to ship’ (TTS). An LNG-filled trailer is positioned alongside the quay and is connected with the ships fuel tank.

First bunkering operation

This first TTS bunkering operation in Zeebrugge was a joint effort between Fluxys Belgium, LNGEurope, and Hoppe Maritime Group. Fluxys Belgium has 27 years of LNG experience, expertise and know-how. LNGEurope was assigned the responsibility of bunkering the tug, while Hoppe Maritime Group acted as BUBE’s agent.


Joachim Coens, CEO at Port of Zeebrugge, commented: “This bunkering operation is of the greatest importance to the Port of Zeebrugge. Firstly, we can be proud that BUBE has chosen Zeebrugge to perform this operation. Secondly, it is a confirmation of the time and effort we’ve invested in becoming a first mover in LNG bunkering. We’ve started up several projects with different parties, which are all in very different stages of development. To see this project performed successfully is very gratifying.”

Koos Blaazer, LNGEurope, added: “This successful bunkering operation confirms the belief of LNGEurope that in the future, these safe bunkering operations will become routine for a steadily growing fleet of LNG fuelled ships, not only in Zeebrugge.”

Stefaan Hoppe, Hoppe Maritime Group, commented: “We are proud to be appointed by BUBE and to be part of the first LNG truck-to-ship bunkering in the port of Zeebrugge. In the future, we hope to assist in new developments in LNG such as small scale LNG and LNG bunkering.”

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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