China's first LNG carrier and refueling vessel put into service
Published: Nov 15, 2022 06:43 PM
Photo: Screenshot of

Photo: Screenshot of "Offshore Oil 301" from CMG

China's first liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier and refueling vessel, "Offshore Oil 301", completed its refitting and was put into use on Tuesday, which will provide flexible refueling service for the country's offshore LNG vessels, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) said. 

LNG refueling vessels are an important class of infrastructure to promote the use of LNG as shipping fuel. This latest development kicks off the water-based refueling business using LNG, and will play a positive role in building an international ship refueling center for LNG and promoting energy transformation and green development, experts noted.

The "Offshore Oil 301" was originally a LNG carrier, measuring 184.7 meters in length and 28.1 meters in width, with a capacity to carry 30,000 cubic meters of LNG.

The refueling function is realized by adding key equipment such as gas combustion device, ship-to-ship refueling system and re-liquefaction device, together with supporting security systems, fire-fighting system and other systems, among which a number of technologies such as LNG refueling system and gas combustion device are the first of their kind in China.

Following its refitting, the design refueling capacity of "Offshore Oil 301" reaches 1,650 cubic meters per hour, which can provide LNG refueling service for large container ships, crude oil carriers and ro-ro carriers, and is the largest LNG carrier refueling vessel in the world.

As the global community heightens focus on environmental protection, the use of LNG as a clean energy source is gaining more and more attention. Data shows that the number of global ocean-going LNG-powered vessels reached 251 in 2021, more than double compared to 119 in 2017. Orders for LNG-powered vessels totaled 225, an increase of 300 percent compared to 56 in 2020, the China Media Group reported.

The conversion of LNG carriers into transport and refueling vessels is the first of its kind in China. Compared with traditional refueling, ship-to-ship refueling can realize the synchronous operation of cargo loading and unloading and fuel refueling, which shortens the time of ship's port call and greatly enhances the international competitiveness of ports. 

CNOOC is actively building international LNG refueling centers in the Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta regions. After delivery, the vessel will complete the first LNG refueling operation for international vessels as soon as possible.