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Operations and major projects

A modified jetty to accommodate the berthing of small scale LNG vessels


LNG is seen as an alternative fuel solution by the shipping industry. To support this development, the Dunkirk terminal has adapted its jetty to accommodate LNG small scale vessels.

Used as a fuel by vessels, LNG is a major transition energy source whose environmental benefits are undeniable. Using LNG eliminates emissions of sulphur and fine particulates, and reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 10-20% and nitrogen oxide emissions by 85%.

"Commissioned in 2016, the Dunkirk terminal was originally designed with a single jetty for LNGCs with a capacity of between 65,000 m3 and 266,000 m3. The world’s largest LNGCs are called Q-max. Over the last few years, demand has evolved," explains Luc Warzee, Technical Director at Dunkerque LNG. "Since June, the jetty can accommodate the berthing of small scale LNGCs and bunker vessels, with a capacity of 5,000 m3 and more. The vessels, known as ‘bunker barges’, are designed to supply large LNG-powered vessels, such as container vessels or ferries."

"After the launch of the truck loading station’s commercial operations in early June, we are continuing to adapt to ensure we can offer greater flexibility to our customers," says Luc Warzee. "This initiative is part of a demand trend for cleaner energy in sea and road transport, bringing LNG to the forefront as an alternative fuel."

Replacement of the central docking fenders

"The existing jetty has been adapted to meet the requirement to accommodate smaller vessels. We tasked SPIE Batignolles Nord with replacing the central docking fenders in order to create a larger bearing surface for small scale carriers while accounting for a large tidal range. The project took place in June, and required 768 hours of work and eight men to install the new marine dock defences while also incorporating LNGC arrivals that were already scheduled".

"Alongside this, we put together a file to make the authorities aware of the possibility to have 24 additional slots for small scale LNG carriers, in addition to the existing 177 for large scale LNGCs. This does not change the existing hazard study. The file was reviewed by the Regional Directorate for Environment, Development and Housing (DREAL) and we have received confirmation that there is no impact on our operating authorisation," explains Luc Warzee.

Green Loop, a key European project

The adaptation of the jetty falls within the framework of the Green Loop project, co-financed by the European Union. Dunkerque LNG is a partner of this project with TMF, CMA CGM and MOL. The project is divided into several activities, including the adaptation of the jetty and the construction of a second jetty to accommodate small scale LNG carriers.

A study for a new jetty

And that’s not all! Since 2017, Dunkerque LNG and the Port of Dunkirk (GPMD) have joined forces to carry out a study on the construction of a new jetty that is suitable for  small scale LNG vessels. Each of the two entities supervises the activities linked to its core business. As such, Dunkerque LNG is in charge of the aspect of the study regarding processes and safety activities – central activities at the LNG terminal.

Thanks to this strategy, which involves the implementation of new provisions and facilities on our site, Dunkerque LNG is supporting its customers in the development of LNG as the  marine fuel of the energy transition.

Article présenté sur la lettre d'information : Novembre 2020


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