ITSAS GAS, owned by the Basque Energy Agency, Ibaizabal Remolcadores and Naviera Murueta, conducted the first pilot test of ship to ship LNG cargo operation in the port of Bilbao. This is the first time that this kind of operation has been carried out in the Atlantic Arc and the Mediterranean.
In this pilot test, 90 cubic metres of LNG have been transferred. With this, a new gas supply service started for ships operating with natural gas and that do not have a wide network of refueling points in European ports.
This project has three milestones, which are the following:
- Adaptation of the pontoon of the Bay of Biscay gas regasification plant so that small boats can load LNG from these facilities.
- The beginning of ship to ship LNG supply operations.
- The construction of a natural gas tugboat, led by Grupo Financiero Ibaizabal, which will begin construction in 2018.
The vessel Oizmendi, formerly called Monte Arucas, needs to conduct some transformations, as it will be equipped with conventional fuel oil tanks and two large tanks of LNG.
The works have been carried out for seven months in the Murueta Shipyard, and include the installation of two tanks of 300 cubic metres which will supply the ships. The investment of ITSAS GAS in this transformation amounts to 5.5 million euros.