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ENGIE, Fluxys, Mitsubishi Corporation, and NYK have taken delivery of the world’s first purpose built liquefied natural gas bunkering vessel (LBV) from Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Ltd., at the Yeongdo shipyard in Busan, Korea. She will run on LNG for her maiden voyage, after a few days of loading LNG delivered by trucks at the shipyard.

Home port Zeebrugge, Belgium

Zeebrugge in Belgium will be the home port of the vessel, which has been named ENGIE Zeebrugge accordingly. From there, the 5,000 m3 LNG capacity LBV will supply LNG as a marine fuel to ships operating in Northern Europe. The two LNG-fueled pure car and truck carriers (PCTC) operated by United European Car Carriers will be its first customers. ENGIE Zeebrugge will load LNG at Fluxys’ LNG terminal in Zeebrugge, where small carriers with capacities from 2 000 m3 can dock at the recently commissioned second jetty.

Milestone in the development of the European LNG bunkering chain

As international regulations on emissions for ships tighten, LNG is expected to become an important alternative fuel for the maritime industry. Currently, the bunker market amounts to approximately 250 million tons of heavy fuel oil per year. The challenge in making LNG grow in the bunker market is to develop sufficient supply infrastructure to support the increasing number of LNG-fueled ships that are expected to come into operation. ENGIE Zeebrugge, in this respect, marks a milestone in the development of the European LNG bunkering chain. While LNG-fueled ships up to now have been largely dependent on fixed bunker locations or the limited bunkering capacity of LNG trailers, ENGIE Zeebrugge, the first purpose built LNG bunkering vessel, has been designed to service a variety of LNG-fueled ships.

Gas4Sea: marketing LNG as a marine fuel

Last September, ENGIE, Mitsubishi Corporation and NYK launched “Gas4Sea, a brand name for marketing ship-to-ship LNG bunkering services worldwide, firstly via the ENGIE Zeebrugge in Northern Europe.

Under this common brand, the three partners intend to support the development of LNG as a marine fuel, thus contributing to an environmentally friendly maritime industry.


Ever more stringent emission regulations for ships

The requirements applicable to ships for controlling NOx, SOx, and CO2 emissions are getting stricter year by year. As from January 2015, regulatory emission limits for SOx have been reduced by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) from 1.0% to 0.1% in the so-called Emission Control Areas (ECAs, which include the North Sea, the Baltic Sea area and areas around North America). More recently, according to a decision by IMO, emission limits for SOx will be reduced outside the ECAs from the current 3.5% to 0.5% as of January 2020.

Distinctive environmental benefits of LNG

Due to its favourable emission profile, the widespread adoption of LNG as a marine fuel is key to curb emissions of SOx and other harmful emissions in the shipping industry. As it goes, the operation of LNG-fueled ships can result in a reduction of nearly all emissions of SOx and particulate matter (PM), compared to ships powered with conventional fuels. LNG use can also reduce CO2 emissions by up to 25% and NOx emissions by more than 80% compared to gasoil.

ENGIE Zeebrugge / Facts & figures

Length overall:       107.60 meters

Breadth:                18.40 meters

Depth:                   9.00 meters

LNG capacity:         5,000 m3

Gross tonnage:       7,403 tons

Main engine:          Dual Fuel (marine gas oil, marine diesel oil, and LNG)

Country Flag:         Belgium

Class:                    Bureau Veritas

Shipyard:               Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. Ltd., Yeongdo Shipyard (Pusan)

Ship management: NYK Energy Transport (Atlantic) Ltd. (NYK LNG Shipmanagement (UK) Ltd.)




At the end of last year, NYK provided free transport for over 850 reusable judo tatami mats from Japan to Indonesia, Cambodia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philippines, and Malaysia. The mats were donated by the All Japan Judo Federation, and transportation was arranged by Yusen Logistics Co. Ltd., an NYK Group company.

A delivery ceremony was held in Bangladesh on December 26. The judo mats are expected to improve practice facilities prior to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games as part of the Japanese government’s Sport for Tomorrow campaign. *

Using the NYK Group’s logistics and transport services, the company has previously offered free transportation for reconditioned bicycles, school backpacks, and picture books for children in Asia. However, this was the first time for NYK to cooperate with the All Japan Judo Federation.

NYK sincerely hopes that these training mats will help the athletes develop sound minds and bodies by engaging in a sport that has its origins in Japan.


* Sport for Tomorrow                                      

An international contribution through sport initiative jointly implemented by public and private sectors to promote sport to more than 10 million people in over 100 nations prior to 2020, the year when Tokyo will host the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Asuka II, a cruise ship owned and operated by NYK Cruises Co. Ltd. (head office: Yokohama; president: Hiroshi Hattori), has been recognized as the 2016 Cruise Ship of the Year, marking the 25th straight year that Asuka II or its predecessor Asuka has been selected for this honor.

The readers of the Japanese magazine Cruise vote annually for their favorite ship and share their reasons, and this year Asuka II was selected as both the best Japanese-flagged ship and best overall ship. In fact, the Asuka cruise brand has been honored as Cruise Ship of the Year every year since the recognition was first presented in 1992.

One voter commented, “Even though I had plenty of time on the ship, there is still more I want to see.” Another said, “The interior was gorgeous, and the services provided by the crew were excellent.” Many others emphasized the luxurious ship’s superb hospitality and reliability.

Last year, NYK marked the 25th year of service by the Asuka cruise brand. The NYK Group remains committed to offering creative cruise experiences that best meet the passions of its customers.

NYK Cruises Co. Ltd. website: