Fluxys and Titan LNG have built the FlexFueler 002 LNG bunkering barge to support the shipping industry in its switch to cleaner operations in the Antwerp port and region. The vessel will make LNG more widely available from its home location at Quay 526/528 as of February 2021.

Regulations for the sulphur content in shipping fuel have become stricter and additional environmental limitations will be imposed in the near future. LNG, therefore, has become more attractive as an alternative fuel as it reduces sulphur and particulate and nitrogen oxides emissions.

Plans for carbon neutral choices

The FlexFueler 002 and the other LNG bunkering infrastructure in the port of Antwerp have the benefit of not requiring additional investments to offer fully carbon neutral choices. Titan LNG, as the long-term operator of the bunkering barge, is confident to make available liquefied biogas (from organic waste) or liquefied synthetic methane (from green hydrogen and captured CO2) to LNG-powered vessels soon after the barge starts operations in February 2021.

The advantage of the FlexFueler 002 is its flexibility. Inland waterway vessels and coasters will have the option to get bunkered with LNG wherever they are loading or unloading their cargo. The bunkering barge will be operating from Quay 526/528 where Fluxys facilitates truck-to-ship bunkering and Titan LNG operates a permanent bunkering point for inland waterway vessels.

Last trials and crew training

Fluxys and Titan LNG joined forces in early 2019 to build the FlexFueler 002 and shipbuilder Kooiman Marine recently delivered the vessel. Titan LNG is currently conducting the last trials and finalising crew training.

Ronald van Selm, CTO of Titan LNG, adds: ‘We would like to thank Kooiman Marine Group for building another landmark LNG bunker vessel. We are very anxious to add this vessel to our fleet of owned and chartered LNG bunker vessels. Building on the very fruitful cooperation during the development and building process, we are confident that together with Fluxys, LNG bunkering in Antwerp will be a daily business soon. Jointly with the Port of Antwerp, we have already delivered LNG numerous times with the FlexFueler001, so we can guarantee our customers the safety framework is in place and functioning.’

FlexFueler 002

The pontoon (length over all 76.40 metres x breadth over all 11.45 metres), is equipped with four vacuum insulated type C cargo tanks of 370 m3 each, to carry liquid LNG. The pontoon is not self propelled and for assistance in manoeuvring, a bow thruster is installed. On the back of the pontoon there will be a control room and a simple accommodation.

Picture: Sister vessels FlexFueler 001 and FlexFueler 002 during tests in the Port of Amsterdam (by Titan LNG).