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Germany to fund LNG fueled newbuild and retrofit projects

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Parliamentary State Secretary Enak Ferlemann: We are keeping on course for our goal of more mobility with fewer emissions

AUGUST 30, 2017 — Germany’s Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) has announced a stimulus program to encourage both the construction of new LNG-fueled seagoing ships and the conversion of existing vessels.

The program will cover up to 40% of allowable costs with extra funding above this level for certain smaller enterprises.

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

The BMVI said that subsidy guidelines have now been published in the German Federal Gazette and a first call for project proposals is being prepared. Companies, or public entities, that own a vessel or are planning a new vessel are eligible to apply.

The move has been welcomed by both the German Shipowners’ Association (VDR) and the German Shipbuilding and Ocean Industry Association (VMI)

Ralf Nagel, Chief Executive Officer of the VDR, commented: “The stimulus program will help German shipowners cope with the substantial capital costs associated with gas-operated ships while delivering major environmental benefits. By using LNG we can reduce emissions significantly, which will further improve air quality in coastal areas and ports.”

According to the VDR, retrofitting or building ships to run on LNG is a complex and expensive endeavor. LNG engines, fuel tanks and supply lines are 20 to 30 per cent more expensive than those of conventionally powered ships.

The VSM also welcomed the Federal Government’s investment support as “a necessary step for the broad and rapid implementation of this clean drive alternative in shipping,” but said that important details on the practical implementation of the measure remain reserved for a later tender and the application of the program.

Download the funding guidelines (in German) HERE


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