Transfer process tested to start German LNG Imports at Lubmin

Testing has begun for the implementation of LNG import operations at the eastern German port of Lubmin.

Unlike the state-supported FSRU operations in the west, which began in December at Wilhelmshaven, Lubmin operation is being privately funded. It is being developed by Deutsche ReGas.

On December 30th tests began on the process that will be used to import the LNG, distributing it through the existing gas network.

The location has extensive infrastructure because it is near the termination point for now non-functional Nord Stream pipelines from Russia. On the downside, the port is smaller that Wilhelmshaven and can only be accessed by shallower draft vessels.

The first vessel to take part in the testing was Liberia-registered combination gas tanker Coral Furcata (IMO 9378307), one of three smaller tankers that will bring the LNG to shore.

The 10,422 dwt vessel, which operates with a 19ft draft, can transport 10,000 cbm of LNG. During the test conducted on December 30th the vessel was positioned alongside the larger Seapeak Hispania (IMO 9230048), which is anchored offshore and is serving as a storage facility for the imported LNG.

Spain-flagged Seapeak Hispania arrived in Germany on December 21st. The 918-foot vessel can hold 137,800cbm of gas. Its 37ft draft prevents it from entering the port. The Coral Furcata is operated by Dutch company Anthony Veder. It completed the ship-to-ship transfer and shuttled the gas to the FSRU unit Neptune, which had been previously installed at the port.

In addition to practicing the transfer at sea, the crew of the smaller gas carrier tested their manoeuvring skills, which had already seen simulated practice at Nautitec in Leer, Germany.

The gas is being transferred to offshore processing ship Neptune (IMO 9385673) for regasification and connection to the onshore network. The transfer and feed processes were also tested.

“Of course, as part of the test operation, the first quantities of LNG were regasified and handed over to the network operator Gascade as gas. But we do not want to call it a feed, so as not to build up false expectations here. For us the feed-in, i.e. commercial operation, only begins with the start of regular operation immediately after the successful completion of the test phase and after receiving the operating license,” said Stephan Knabe, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Deutsche ReGas.

2011-built, Liberia-flagged, 10,105 gt Coral Furcata owned by Coral Furcata Shipping BV care of manager Anthony Veder Chartering BV of Rotterdam, Netherlands. ISM manager is Anthony Veder Rederij BV of Rotterdam, Netherlands. It is entered with UK Club on behalf of Coral Furcata Shipping BV. As of January 8th it was moored at Fresendorf, Baltic Sea, Germany.

2002-built, Spain-flagged, 94,822 gt Seapeak Hispania is owned by Naviera Seapeak Maritime Gas care of manager Seapeak Maritime (Glasgow) Ltd of Glasgow, UK. It is entered with Skuld (Skuld Western Europe and Americas) on behalf of Seapeak Maritime Ltd. As of January 8th the vessel was at anchor in the Baltic Sea.

2009-built, Norway-flagged, 96,483 gt Neptune is owned by SRV Joint Gas Ltd care of manager Hoegh LNG AS of Oslo, Norway. ISM manager is Hoegh LNG Fleet Management AS. It is entered with Gard P&I on behalf of SRV Joint Gas Ltd, and with Gard as claims leader for Loss of Hire on behalf of Höegh LNG Holdings Ltd. As of January 8th the vessel was stopped at Fresendorf, Baltic Sea.