LNG-Schiff Station

© gettyimages.de/Felix Cesare

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action is spending a total of around €62 million to fund the construction of three bunker vessels, i.e. refuelling ships, for liquified natural gas (LNG). This morning, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck handed the corresponding grant approvals over to the shipping companies that form a consortium made up of Nordic Hamburg, Titan Clean Fuels and WESMAR. The event took place at the Flensburger Schiffbau Gesellschaft (FSG) shipyard, which will construct the three bunker vessels.

Federal Minister Habeck said, “The maritime sector’s energy transition and its associated switch to alternative fuels are a huge task. It requires investments in the expansion of bunker infrastructure which will enable the refuelling of maritime vessels with LNG and renewable fuels. I am delighted that, thanks to the efforts of all those involved in the project, we have succeeded in realising the funding of three new innovative bunker vessels this year. In addition to LNG, refuelling with ammonia will also be possible in the future. This shows that we are consistently moving towards climate neutrality. The plans to construct the vessels in Flensburg is an important contribution to strengthening Germany’s position in the shipbuilding industry.”

Specifically, three bunker vessels with a capacity of 4,500 m³ each are to be constructed and will be used to supply LNG to adjacent vessels in German and European seaports. The aim of the project is to build modern and sustainable bunker infrastructure for maritime vessels. The legal basis for all support granted is the Funding programme for the construction of refuelling vessels for LNG and sustainable and renewable fuel alternatives in shipping (Refuelling vessels guideline).

The new bunker infrastructure is to initially make liquified natural gas (LNG), liquified biomethane (LBM), and further down the line, substitute natural gas (SNG) available as low-carbon or carbon-neutral fuel for maritime vessels. The bunker vessels have also been designed for subsequent fuelling through ammonia and can be upgraded accordingly. Ammonia could take on an important role in the long-term as a climate-friendly marine fuel because it can be efficiently produced via regeneration and its consumption is carbon-free. The use of ammonia as marine fuel, however, requires further technological and regulatory developments.

The new vessels are to be constructed at the FSG shipyard in Flensburg, Germany. A considerable share of the value creation for this innovative shipbuilding technology will be achieved by the German maritime sector.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action will receive administrative support in implementing the Guideline on funding for the construction of refuelling vessels for LNG and sustainable renewable fuel alternatives in shipping from the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control, and specialist support from NOW GmbH (“The National Organisation for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology”).