Greece’s Public Gas Corp (DEPA) plans to build up to six LNG bunker vessels (LNGBV) and has called on shipbuilders to submit technical and commercial bids for the newbuildings to operate in the East Mediterranean.
Bids are being sought for two firm, plus two pairs of options with capacities in the range of 3,000 to 4,000 cu m with the firm ships to be based in Piraeus and Limassol, Cyprus, though DEPA has specified the ships must be capable of operating in the open sea.
The gas company has specified the LNGBVs be highly manoeuvrable, and be able to operate unassisted in ports in both bunkering and supply modes.
Related: Petronas ready to start LNG bunkering in Malaysia from January 2020
“The vessels will be adequately equipped to perform terminal-to-ship, ship-to-ship, ship-to-shore, ship-to-truck and truck-to-ship operations,” said DEPA in the tender documents.
They will have dual-fuel propulsion systems, cargo holds able to accommodate type-C tanks and be able to offer a service speed of 10 to 13 knots.
DEPA, which has secured funds under the EU's TEN-T scheme and the EU's Connecting Europe Facility for Transport fund, plans to use one of the vessels registered in Piraeus, while the second will be chartered by Cypriot company Navigas Ltd, which is working to advance LNG bunkering in Cyprus and will be based in Limassol. DEPA and Navigas will sign separate contracts for the newbuildings.
DEPA has already signed an initial deal to supply LNG bunkers to Greece’s largest ferry operator Attica Holdings which has some 30 vessels under the Blue Star Ferries, Hellenic Seaways and Superfast Ferries banners and the LNGBVs will establish a supply chain for distribution to users in Piraeus, Heraklion, Crete, Limassol and other EU ports in the Eastern Med.
While expected to load LNG from adjacent terminals, such as Revithoussa LNG import terminal off Piraeus and Cyprus’ planned Vassilikos floating storage and regasification unit, they should be able to load from any other terminal with small-scale LNG facilities including worldwide service.