July 10 (UPI) — French energy company Total said Monday its marine fuels subsidiary signed an agreement to make liquefied natural gas available for marine transport by 2019.
The company said it signed a series of agreements with a ferry company to supply LNG as a fuel. Brittany Ferries ordered its first ferry ever chartered for regional waters in June and it’s slated for service in 2019.
“The agreement with Brittany Ferries is a landmark one — our first contract to supply LNG bunker,” Olivier Jouny, the managing director of Total Marine Fuels Global Solutions said in a statement.
Bunkering is the ship-to-ship transfer of fuel and Total aims to offer the option at the port of Ouistreham, France. The French company said it’s partnered with two other French companies to help support the supply chain necessary to bring fuels to the port’s loading docks.
With international regulations calling for fewer emissions in the transportation sector, LNG serves a unique niche. The French supermajor said LNG as a fuel source is transformative given the maritime shipping industry’s quest to cap emissions of nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
“The shipping industry needs access to LNG,” Frédéric Pouget, a director a Brittany Ferries, said.
In June, French energy company ENGIE marked a first for LNG when its Zeebrugge vessel in Belgium provided ship-to-ship supplies for LNG as a fuel. ENGIE, working in cooperation with its Japanese and Belgian natural gas transmission operator Fluxys, took delivery of the bunkering vessel, which itself is powered by LNG, in February.
In January, German utility group RWE said it would work with port officials to create infrastructure to fuel vessels with LNG. A pilot phase involves mobile fueling stations and conversion of port vehicles to work on LNG.