Enagás has awarded a contract to Spanish engineering company Ayesa to redesign the jetty at its Huelva LNG terminal. The revamped mooring set-up will enable the loading of small-scale gas carriers, including LNG bunker vessels (LNGBVs), and the direct loading of bunker tanks on LNG-powered vessels.

This will be the third such project undertaken by Ayesa on behalf Enagás, similar work having been carried out for the terminal operator’s Barcelona and Cartagena facilities. Enagás manages five of Spain’s six working LNG terminals and the country’s facilities are among the world’s most flexible through the range of services on offer.

Adapting the terminal in Huelva to enable the handling of small vessels is part of the CORE LNGas hive project, an initiative co-financed by the European Commission. Focused on promoting LNG as fuel, primarily for marine use, throughout the Iberian Peninsula, the CORE LNGas hive scheme is co-ordinated by Enagás and led by Puertos del Estado, the manager of Spain’s state-owned ports.

The port of Huelva already has its own LNGBV. Oizmendi was originally a 3,200-dwt pollution control vessel but has been converted to a multipurpose oil/LNG bunkering station. In addition to its underdeck oil tanks, Oizmendi has two 300-m3, deck-mounted, Type C LNG tanks.

Oizmendi carried out Spain’s first LNG ship-to-ship (STS) fuelling operation in the port of Bilbao in February 2018 when it transferred 40 tonnes of LNG to the dual-fuel cement carrier Ireland. Following this transfer, Oizmendi was earmarked for relocation to southwestern Spain where it will offer its services as an oil and LNG fueller, using the new Huelva terminal jetty arrangement to stock up on LNG as required.

The Enagás facility at Huelva celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, the terminal having opened for business in June 1988 with the delivery of a cargo of Algerian LNG by 35,000-m3 Isabella. At that stage Huelva operated simply as a regasification facility and had a single storage tank, of 60,000 m3.

Today Huelva has five storage tanks providing 620,000 m3 of space and offers LNGC gasing-up and cooldown services as well as a road tanker-loading capability. The terminal is also able to reload LNGCs of 30-180,000 m3 in size and its new Ayesa-designed jetty arrangement will extend that loading capability to a range of small ships for the first time.