AG Ems to convert second ferry to LNG operation

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The German ferry Münsterland will be retrofitted with a package of Wärtsilä LNG solutions to minimize its environmental footprint. Image copyright: Aktien-Gesellschaft ‘Ems’ Photographer: Peter Andryszak.

German ferry operator AG Ems has placed a contract with Wärtsilä that will see its RoPax ferry Münsterland retrofitted to operate on LNG.

The project is aimed at lessening the ferry’s environmental footprint on the Wadden Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage listed area in the southeastern end of the North Sea.

The vessel will be fitted with two Wärtsilä 20DF dual-fuel generating sets and a Wärtsilä LNGPac system. In addition to the environmental benefits, significant operational cost savings and an increase in overall vessel efficiency are the expected outcomes of the project. Delivery of the Wärtsilä equipment will commence in spring 2020, and completion of the retrofitting is anticipated during first quarter 2021.

The work will take place at the Royal Niestern-Sander B.V. shipyard in the Netherlands. The yard has facilities for shipbuilding and repairs under one roof, and will use these facilities to build a completely new aftship to accommodate the Wärtsilä LNGPac fuel storage, supply, and control system. This fitting of the new aftship is scheduled to commence in September 2020.

A similar retrofitting project was carried out in 2015 on the Ostfriesland, a sister ship to the Münsterland. The success of that project was cited as a prime consideration in the award of the new contract.

“There is no greater endorsement of customer satisfaction than repeat orders, and we are delighted to have again been selected to convert an AG Ems owned ferry to LNG fuel operation,” says Matthias Becker, Managing Director, Wärtsilä Deutschland GmbH.

“Operating our vessels in the most ecologically friendly way possible is of the utmost importance to us,” says Bernhard Brons, Managing Director of AG Ems. “Wärtsilä’s technology is already known to us, so we had no hesitation to contract them again to retrofit the Münsterland to allow it to operate without restrictions in the SECA and NECA sulfur and nitrogen oxide controlled areas.

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