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German shipping associations back promotion of LNG fuelled vessels

German shipping associations back promotion of LNG fuelled vessels
Maritime associations in Germany have issued a joint statement promoting LNG as an alternative fuel for ships.

The German Shipowners’ Association (VDR), the German Shipbuilding and Ocean Industries Association (VSM), the Association of German Seaport Operators (ZDS) and the German Shipbrokers’ Association (ZVDS) have called for uniform legal standards in ports, as well as subsidies for LNG installations and research.

“Without a comprehensive incentive scheme from the federal government for the construction and retrofitting of LNG-powered ships, it will not be possible to dismantle the barriers to market entry,” said Ralf Nagel, VDR ceo. “Not a single LNG-powered ship has been commissioned without government subsidies throughout Europe to date. As a leading maritime nation, Germany ought to be taking on a pioneering role.”

Alexander Geisler, ZVDS md, said: “Germany needs uniform standards for handling LNG at sea ports, be it for bunkering, power generation or for transportation purposes.

“Refuelling of LNG ships must become a commonplace occurrence in German ports, too. To ensure that the ships can be cleared as efficiently as has been the case to date, it must be ensured that the bunkering process can be carried out at the same time as the loading and unloading of the ships.

“The German shipbuilding industry has made a decisive contribution to the promotion of LNG as a clean alternative fuel, and it is currently in an ideal position to become a leader in the development of this technology and of this market,” said Ralf Sören Marquardt, md of VSM. “With a concerted LNG initiative designed to promote the implementation of innovations and to close existing gaps in the regulatory framework, it will become feasible to achieve significant reductions in emissions in ports and waterways and to create high-quality jobs – and not only in coastal regions," he explained.

“Refuelling of LNG ships must become a commonplace occurrence in German ports, too. To ensure that the ships can be cleared as efficiently as has been the case to date, it must be ensured that the bunkering process can be carried out at the same time as the loading and unloading of the ships,” said Alexander Geisler, md of the German Shipbrokers‘ Association (ZVDS). “Germany needs uniform standards for handling LNG at sea ports, be it for bunkering, power generation or for transportation purposes.”

While LNG as a ship fuel has received much attention over the last few years it has not taken off to the level that classification societies such as DNVGL believed it would, as owners have been faced with a chicken and egg situation with many uncertainties.

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