Expert video on bunkering

What does LNG mean? What about LBG?

Gas-related abbreviations can be a bit confusing. Here’s our quick guide to Gasum gas products for maritime transport.

LNG = liquefied natural gas

LBG = liquefied biogas

Mikael Lidén Gasum

Mikael Lidén

Sales Manager Maritime
tel. +46 70 000 9447 

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Ship to ship bunkering

As a premium provider of LNG and LBG, Gasum is an excellent partner for frontrunners in LNG propulsion who aim to optimise their efficiency and are constantly looking for better and more sustainable ways to operate.

Part of our wide variety of services and solutions is ship to ship bunkering, operated since 2017 with our LNG bunker vessel Coralius. Having performed hundreds of safe bunker operations both at sea and in port, Coralius provides a flexible and responsive service for operators in the marine market.

Coralius has a capacity of about 5800 cbm (about 2450MT) and is ready to serve our long-term and spot customers in many geographical areas. Read more about our bunker vessels.

Bunkering at sea and in ports

Bunkering LNG ship to ship can take place between two sea-going ships at anchorage or in port. Also, depending on the port restrictions, bunkering can be done efficiently at the same time as the vessel receiving LNG carries out simultaneous cargo operations.

In most ports, the LNG bunker vessel needs to be a licensed LNG bunker operator, holding a bunker permit issued by local authorities. It is recommended to start the permit application well in advance of the ship to ship operation, as it normally involves several authorities.

Bunkering LNG ship to ship at sea does not usually require any special permit unless the operation takes place close to the shore. Typically, the bunkering operations take place in a position agreed with the Coast Guard within an anchorage area.

Safety first

To ensure a high safety standard, the crew on board both ships involved need to have the necessary training and instructions on how to handle the cryogenic LNG bunker equipment and procedures. After an initial compatibility check of the ships, a mooring study is done, and a checklist of all procedures is followed and ticked off by the respective crew.

When mooring and fendering arrangements are agreed upon, the LNG bunker vessel is positioned alongside the receiving ship and the final procedures are checked and ticked off. The hose is then connected, a leak test is performed, the water curtain installed, and the emergency shutdown systems are re-checked. After this the bunker operation may commence. After the operation is completed, the hose and equipment need to be purged before they are disconnected.

Transfer equipment

The LNG bunker ship needs to secure that all gas detection equipment is certified and in good condition. Both the bunker ship and the receiving vessel need to have installed efficient and safe emergency shutdown systems. The hoses are equipped with a drip-free quick coupling and a break away unit, which, in case of an emergency. breaks off without any spill.

Standards and regulations for LNG bunkering

The rules for LNG bunkering are constantly being developed by several organizations. Some of these are SIGTTO (Society of International Gas Tankers and Terminal Operators), OCIMF (Oil Companies International Marine Forum), IMO (International Maritime Organization), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), EN (CEN – European Committee for Standardization) and the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association).

Frequently asked questions about bunkering LNG