Germany Launches New Funding Program for LNG Conversions

The Wes Amelie undergoing LNG bunkering in Bremerhaven, Germany, August 23, 2017. The 2011-built containership is the first in the world to be converted from HFO to LNG fuel. Photo: Nauticor

The German government has launched a new program that will subsidize the conversion and newbuild construction of ocean-going vessels to liquified natural gas fuel.

Germany’s Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) announced the new program available to German shipping companies on Wednesday. The aim of the program is to promote the use of clean-burning LNG within the German maritime shipping industry.

“Germany is one of the world’s largest shipping ports,” said Enak Ferlemann, State Secretary of BMVI. “We want to maintain this top position and therefore support the introduction of innovative technologies. With our new funding program, we are accelerating the expansion of alternative drives in maritime shipping and keeping our course on our goal: more mobility with fewer emissions.”

BMVI said in a statement that all companies that own a vessel or are planning to build one are eligible to apply. The funds will made available from the mobility and fuel strategy (MKS).

In addition to the new program, BMVI is also promoting the use of LNG fuel through the construction of the LNG-fueled Atair II, the new research vessel that is being built for the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency. The vessel is expected to begin operations in 2020 as the first government-owned research vessel to be powered by LNG.

The new program also follows the re-launching of the “Wes Amelie”, the world’s first containership to be converted from heavy fuel oil to LNG, as well as a new LNG-powered passenger vessel at Lake Constance. Both of those projects were also assisted by BMVI.