Shanghai's Yangshan port starts simultaneous LNG bunkering and cargo unloading

Shanghai's Yangshan Port started ship-to-container liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering with simultaneous cargo unloading, a first among Chinese ports. Avenir Allegiance, the world's largest LNG bunker vessel, successfully completed filling 7,000 cubic meters of LNG to CMA CGM SYMI, a large containership docked at Yangshan port, according to the Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration (SMSA). The operation took 19 hours. Container unloading and LNG refueling were carried out simultaneously, meaning the time needed for bunkering was reduced.

The successful LNG bunkering for the large dual-fuel LNG containership also showed that Shanghai port, along with Rotterdam, has become one of the few ports in the world with LNG bunkering services. Shanghai authorities, including the SMSA, have been making efforts to turn Shanghai into a bunkering hub. In August 2021, the SMSA issued the first qualification certificate for LNG bunkering in China. In September, the first certificate for a training institution for dual-fuel ship crews was issued. Under regulations in the Lingang Special Area in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, which came into force on March 1, enterprises in the Lingang Special Area may, upon approval, carry out refueling of new fuels such as LNG for international vessels on a trial basis. In recent years, demand for LNG refueling has been increasing.

However, LNG must be kept extremely cold. It can easily evaporate, explode, produce flames and cause electrostatic accumulation, which requires effective safety procedures during ship-to-ship LNG refueling. It is expected that more dual-fuel ships will dock at Shanghai port, and the SMSA will further improve safety management standards and normal service mechanisms for LNG ship-to-ship refueling, so as to comprehensively promote the upgrading of Shanghai's role as an international shipping center and green port, said the SMSA.

In 2021, the container throughput of Shanghai port reached 47.033 million standard containers, ranking first in the world for the 12th consecutive year. Of the total throughput, Yangshan Port contributed nearly 50%. Shanghai port has more than 300 international routes, of which more than 80 depart from Yangshan port, the Global Times reports.