Bunker supplier Peninsula has been granted an LNG bunkering operator license by the Government of Gibraltar and the Gibraltar Port Authority and is putting its first LNG bunker vessel (LNGBV) newbuilding to work in the area.

The company said its 12,500-cbm LNGBV newbuilding Levante LNG, which recently arrived in the Strait of Gibraltar, will be operated by Peninsula and used to supply customers in the region and at other Mediterranean ports.

The LNGBV newbuilding was ordered by Peninsula in partnership with Spanish energy company Enagas' arm Scale Gas.

The vessel is chartered to Peninsula for seven years.

The company said previously that the LNGBV would load LNG at Enagas regasification plants, predominantly in Huelva in southwestern Spain.

Peninsula chief executive John A. Bassadone said: “The ability to operate our LNG vessel in the Strait of Gibraltar will bring lower-carbon solutions to vessels entering and leaving the Mediterranean.”

The company's head of alternative fuels & sustainability Nacho de Miguel said: “This license allows us to meet lower-carbon product demand across the Western Mediterranean.

De Miguel added: “The LNG-propelled vessel orderbook is looking very healthy and we want to offer solutions now to those customers taking a proactive step towards decarbonisation. As the gateway to the Mediterranean, the Port of Gibraltar will be an integral piece of the decarbonisation puzzle.”

According to DNV's monthly figures, there are now 978 LNG-fuelled vessels, of which 540 are on order and 438 are in operation. The bulk of the orders, 204 vessels, are container ships, with car carriers coming in second on 138.