Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in Germany announced a new financing program for LNG-fueled ships in an effort to support the use of natural gas as marine fuel in the country’s shipping industry.
Enak Ferlemann, Parliamentary State Secretary at the ministry said that Germany is one of the world’s largest shipping nations and the goal is to keep the top position. Therefore, the country supports the introduction of innovative technologies. With the new program, the ministry wants to speed up the use of alternative fuels in shipping, pursuing the goal of fewer emissions, especially in the context of the upcoming environmental regulations.
As informed, the first call for project proposals is being prepared. Companies owning a vessel or planning to build a new vessel, as well as bodies governed by public law are eligible to apply.
The funding encompasses equipping newbuildings with LNG propulsion systems and upgrading existing ships to be dual fuel powered.
The German Shipowners’ Association welcomed the government’s initiative and said that the program will help shipping companies bear the costs of LNG-powered vessels due to the fact that retrofitting or building such vessels is expensive.
“With LNG we can considerably decrease emissions and further improve the quality of air on coasts and at ports,” the association said.
The new financing scheme is being announced on the heels of the launching of the world’s first boxship converted to LNG, Wes Amelie. The 1,000 TEU feeder is German-owned and underwent an LNG engine conversion at the German Dry Docks in Bremerhaven. The conversion was supported by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure.
Natural gas emits zero sulfur oxides (SOx) and zero particulate matter (PM). Compared to existing heavy marine fuel oils, LNG emits 90% less nitrogen oxides (NOx) and offers the potential for up to a 25% reduction in GHGs.
World Maritime News Staff