The company has signed a ten-year deal with Gas and Heat SpA and the San Giorgio del Porto shipyard to charter the vessel and deploy it for LNG bunkering operations off the coast of Naples. File Image / Pixabay
Energy firm Axpo has signed a deal to charter an LNG bunker delivery vessel for use in Italy.
The company has signed a ten-year deal with Gas and Heat SpA and the San Giorgio del Porto shipyard to charter the vessel and deploy it for LNG bunkering operations off the coast of Naples, it said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.
The 7,500 m3 vessel will be built at San Giorgio's Piombino shipyard, and is expected to begin operations in 2025. The ship will be suitable for bio-LNG and ammonia bunkering operations as well as fossil LNG.
"The demand for sustainable solutions in the maritime industry continues to increase significantly, in line with the International Maritime Organization strategy of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping," Marco Saalfrank, head of Continental European merchant trading at Axpo, said in the statement.
"With the industry expected to achieve a reduction of up to 40% in the carbon intensity of shipping by 2030, the LNG bunkering solution will provide a cleaner marine fuel in the mid-term and beyond."
LNG for now remains the dominant alternative bunker fuel, with several hundred ships now using it as fuel. The main challenge facing the LNG bunker industry now is the scaling-up of greener bio- and synthetic LNG production to meet the needs of shipowners seeking to cut the GHG emissions of their gas-powered tonnage.