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There is one birthday in the port of Rotterdam; the largest inland tanker in the world

The port of Rotterdam is the largest bunker port in Europe. Last year sales increased from 8.7 to 9.2 million tons. So there is plenty of work for the Vorstenbosch.

The twenty cargo tanks of the Vorstenbosch with a total of 13,889 m³ can be unloaded in about five hours. “A ship like this can even supply two large seagoing vessels with fuel, says Maud Eijgendaal of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. “Ten years is a special milestone. It is the largest bunker ship that sails around the harbor and occupies an important position. Because in addition to bunkering sea-going vessels, this ship also transports fuel between container terminals and refineries.”

“The customers of this ship are mainly ship owners, large container shipping companies, oil companies, but also traders,” says Niels Groenewold, director of bunkering company VT Group. “Actually everyone who is active in the bunker sector uses this ship from time to time. “


The Vorstenbosch is one of the five bunker ships of the VT Group that is equipped with a ‘mass flow meter’. This is a system that measures exactly how much bunker oil the ship receives and transfers to another ship. The Port of Rotterdam Authority is a staunch supporter of the use of mass flow meters in the port of Rotterdam, because it wants more transparency in bunker shipping. This year the Port Authority introduced the bunker license for transporters and a reporting point for complaints.

De Vorstenbosch is a good example of the development that has been made in the past ten years with regard to the switch to cleaner fuels. “Ten years ago, this ship was still carrying the most polluting heavy fuel oil, but that has changed enormously in the past ten years,” says Eijgendaal. “You can see that there is less and less sulfur in the fuel oil”

“That market has changed very quickly,” adds VT director Niels Groenewold. “This is just the beginning. If you see what new technologies entail; alternative energy sources, such as LNG. But hydrogen is also being seriously considered. And also methanol.”

According to Niels Groenewold, the flagship of VT, the Vorstenbosch, can make the switch to methanol easy. “This ship, the Vorstenbosch, is a chemical tanker, so we can also switch to methanol. If our customers want methanol, it’s a matter of cleaning up and then we’re going to do it. The ships are ready, while the market still has it.


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