The operation started Thursday morning and took around 16 hours to complete. Gas Agility, the world’s largest LNG bunker vessel, was built especially to supply Ultra Large Container Vessels, like Jacques Saade, with LNG while they are loading or unloading their cargo.

Jacques Saade, owned by French giant CMA CGM, is the first LNG-powered container vessel with a capacity of over 23,000-TEU containers.

CMA CGM has ordered another eight of these ULCVs from China and sees the Port of Rotterdam, along with Port of Marseille Fos, as key enablers in the refueling of its LNG-powered fleet.

By 2022, the shipping company plans to have a fleet of no fewer than 26 LNG-powered vessels in service: nine 23,000-TEU ships, eleven 15,000-TEU ships and six 14,000-TEU ships.

Meanwhile, the Port of Rotterdam Authority sees this ship's call as an important milestone and welcomes the increasing development of LNG as a shipping fuel. A total of nine LNG bunker vessels operate in Rotterdam’s port area, of which three can be found working there on a permanent basis.

Like CMA CGM, we support the transition from heavy fuel oil to LNG as a transport fuel for shipping. At present, LNG is the cleanest fuel that can be considered scalable and affordable for this ship category. Moreover, the introduction of these new LNG-powered vessels supports the Port Authority’s ambition to serve as a key hub in the import, export, storage and bunkering of LNG. We feel honoured that every year, these nine new ships will be bunkering some 300,000 m³ of LNG in Rotterdam. This is also good news for LNG throughput and storage activities in our port,

...says Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port Authority.

This year, the port of Rotterdam has welcomed a number of other LNG-powered ships besides Jacques Saade, including the crane vessel 'Sleipnir' and the cruise liner 'Iona'. According to the international LNG platform SEA LNG, a total of 175 LNG-powered sea-going vessels were in service worldwide as of January 2020, while orders for another 200 LNG-powered vessels have been placed globally.

The ship will now continue on its maiden voyage, which began after it joined the fleet on September 22.