An LNG Journey, Episode 2 : Fly In, Sail Out (2010)

If biz trips are not your thing, then LNG is probably not a good idea. Inevitable long haul journeys, plus the LNG map of the world does not exactly coincide with the easiest destinations. If on the contrary, you deem travel as a means to understand the world and put things in perspective, then LNG is a great opportunity to quench your thirst.

Sometimes the goal is less important than the voyage itself. I was writing the minutes of a meeting held in Algeria, this time not in another airport lounge, but in an officers cabin onboard a MedMax-class LNG carrier, gobbling up its 30’000-ton cargo at the Bethioua liquefaction plant. The voyage back to France was to last 36 hours across the Mediterranean.

My colleagues had warned me – “Jean, bring a good book”… No need. The trip was too short for all my questions. On one of the busiest LNG ships in the world, the crew was working at a thrilling pace.

After two nights lulled by the rumble of the engine, we reached Marseilles. While the ship was commencing unloading, I made my re-entry into France through a simple iron portal, as if I swam back from a failed attempt to fly away. All according to plan, but with such a taste of adventure.

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