LNG vessels in the Balearic Sea now bunker twice as fast

Using KC LNG’s Y-piece solution, Spanish shipping company Baleària has launched a facility in the port of Valencia that combines the flow of multiple trucks, achieving 100% faster LNG bunkering.

In most cases around the world, the act of bunkering a ship with Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is done with just 1 tank trailer. This is a time-consuming process and keeps ships moored to the dock for longer than most ship-owners would like.

Now, Spanish shipping company Baleària has found a solution to this problem. With technology manufactured by KC LNG, they are now able to pump LNG from two trucks simultaneously.  The result is a much higher flow rate and, therefore, a significantly faster bunkering process.

The solution is the Y-piece, which has raised Baleària’s transfer speed of fuel to between 80 and 120 m3/h, depending on the size of the trucks’ onboard pumps. In comparison, a traditional truck-to-ship bunkering operation is limited to 30 to 50 m3/h.

Baleària tested their new solution on 20 December 2019, where they managed to completely transfer the contents of two tanks in 55 minutes to the ferry, Hypatia de Alejandría. As a bonus, they were able to do this while simultaneously on- and off-loading passengers, vehicles and goods.

“This test shows that LNG bunkering does not need to take several hours and prolong the vessel’s time at the dock. Movable and flexible solutions like the Y-piece can drastically improve the efficiency of the process, and they don’t require huge investments. This is a crucial element in allowing more ships and ship-owners to use environment-friendly LNG.”
Frej Olsen, Head of Group LNG, KC LNG

Once the Port Authority of Valencia issues a full approval of the system, Baleària will use this new bunkering system daily. The company already has 4 vessels running on LNG, with 4 more expected this year and another in 2021.