On 16 January 2019, the Coral Methane carried out its first liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering operation on the world’s first LNG-powered cruise ship at Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands.

The vessel fuelled the AIDAnova, AIDA Cruises' newest ship, which made history as the cruise industry’s first ship to be powered at sea and in port by LNG.

Ship Modification Project

The Coral Methane is a 7500 m3 vessel that has been modified from an ethylene/LNG carrier to an LNG bunker vessel for Shell, who are supplying the LNG. The Coral Methane was built in 2009 according to an innovative design with Azipull thrusters that give the vessel high manoeuvrability and fuel efficiency. The modification project, managed by Anthony Veder, took twelve months.

It required engineering and modification works, as well as obtaining bunkering licenses for the various ports. Modifications such as the installed hose transfer system enable the Coral Methane to perform safe bunkering operations while the boil-off gas management system provides a sustainable solution for efficient use of natural gas and carbon emission reductions. The project also involved a review of all necessary operational procedures to ensure compliance with the SGMF (Society for Gas as Marine Fuel) recommendations and guidelines.

To guarantee safe bunkering operations, the crew was familiarised with all the necessary equipment and procedures together with employees of Shell and AIDA Cruises, along with Carnival Corporation.