2011-Built Containership Undergoes LNG Fuel Conversion in Germany

lng conversion bunkering
The Wes Amelie undergoing LNG bunkering in Bremerhaven, Germany, August 23, 2017. Photo: Nauticor

The world’s first containership to be converted to run on low-emission LNG fuel was re-launched on Thursday in Bremerhaven, Germany.

The 2011-built containership, Wes Amelie, which is owned by German-based ship owner Wessels Reederei, has been undergoing the LNG conversion since May at the German Dry Docks in Bremerhaven. Going forward the ship will operate solely on liquified natural gas, leading to a huge reduction in emissions compared to the use heavy fuel oil. 

LNG experts from Hamburg-based Nauticor were selected to conduct the vessel’s initial LNG bunkering at the Kühlhauskai in the Port of Bremerhaven. In total, four trucks of LNG were brought to the German port and transferred to the vessel.

The conversion of the containership establishes Wessels Reederei as a frontrunner in the use of LNG as a marine fuel for containerships in Northwest Europe.

The 1,000 TEU Wes Amelie is one of fifteen sister ships operating exclusively on feeder routes in the North and Baltic Seas. The company said the conversion, which was supported by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, will likely be extended to other ships in the fleet.

The 13,200 dwt Wes Amelie was originally delivered in August 2011.

Wessels Reederei said it began working on the main engine conversion with MAN Diesel & Turbo more than two years ago.

“For many years our shipping company has been committed to ‘Green Shipping’ – through the development and implementation of more effcient alternative propulsion systems. With the conversion to LNG we and our partners showcase our technical expertise and demonstrate practical environmental solutions for the merchant marine industry”, said Gerd Wessels, Managing Owner of Wessels Reederei GmbH.