The 1,036-teu containership Wes Amelie will become the first ship in world to trial carbon-neutral synthetic natural gas on a voyage set to take place in 2020.
During the trial, Wes Amelie will replace a share of the LNG used during a roundtrip voyage with SNG produced from “green hydrogen,” i.e. hydrogen that is produced from renewable sources.
A total of twenty tons of SNG will be provided by auto manufacturer Audi from the company’s new Power-to-Gas facility in Germany, where a liquefaction plant is currently under construction. The facility will use wind energy to produce the SNG, making for a 100% climate-neutral product.
The trial is expected to take place as soon as the liquefaction plant is commissioned, currently scheduled for the second quarter of 2020.
Hamburg-based LNG supplier Nauticor has signed on as a logistics partner in the project, which is organized by MAN Energy Solutions and Wessels Marine GmbH.
According to Nauticor, by burning SNG, CO2 emissions from Wes Amelie are expected to decline by 56 tons for the trip.
“The project shows the long-term path towards a completely climate-neutral shipping sector,” said Mahinde Abeynaike, CEO of Nauticor. “Already today, the use of fossil LNG reduces the CO2 emissions significantly compared to traditional oil-based fuels, and other harmful substances, such as sulphur, nitrogen oxide and particle matters are eliminated almost completely. A vessel equipped for the use of (fossil) LNG is also able to use SNG, which could be generated from 100% climate-neutral sources, without the need to conduct any modifications. Nevertheless, it will take some time until SNG can be produced in quantities and for a price, which are sufficient for the commercial use as fuel for shipping.“
In 2017, the Wes Amelie became the first containership to undergo an LNG engine conversion. The vessel, which is owned by Wessels Reederei, is one of fifteen 1,000 TEU sister ships operating exclusively on feeder routes in the North and Baltic Seas.