Containership Wes Amelie to trial carbon neutral synthetic natural gas fuel

The first container feedership retrofitted to run on LNG, Wes Amelie, is set to set another milestone becoming the first vessel to use synthetic natural gas (SNG) produced from renewable energy sources.

MAN Energy Solutions and Wessels Marine are undertaking a demonstration project using SNG as a drop in fuel to replace 20 of 120 tonnes of LNG that the Wes Amelie uses on a typical round voyage. The use of carbon neutral SNG is expected to reduce CO2 emissions from the voyage by 56 tonnes.

The voyage planned to take place in Q2 2020  using fuel from Audi’s Power-to-Gas facility in Werlte, where a liquefaction plant is currently under construction, with the gas generated by wind power.

Nauticor, the LNG transportation company, and Unifeeder as the vessel’s charterer are cooperating in the project.

“We strongly believe that a roadmap based on LNG and SNG as fuels can lead the way to a decarbonised future for shipping and, in Wessels Marine, we have the perfect partner,” said Stefan Eefting, head of MAN PrimeServ.

“Power-to-X technology allows the generation of 100% climate-neutral natural gas from renewable energy. This technology has tremendous potential and needs to be freed from regulatory burdens and to be developed on an industrial scale to bring down costs.”

Christian Hoepfner, managing owner of Wessels Marine, said: “In another world-first, we will now demonstrate that SNG can successfully be used to reduce harmful emissions even further as the fuel is climate-neutral. However the costs are still way too high. Going forward, governments and regulators will have to work together to make this a viable and available option for shipowners.”

Posted 8 November 2019

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Marcus Hand

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Editor, Seatrade Maritime News Marcus Hand is the editor of Seatrade Maritime News and a dedicated maritime journalist with nearly two decades of experience covering the shipping industry in Asia. In addition to running Seatrade's maritime and offshore news website based from Singapore he is the Asia Editor of Seatrade Maritime Review. Marcus is also an experienced industry commentator and has chaired many conferences and round tables. Prior to joining Seatrade at the beginning of 2010 Marcus worked for shipping industry journal Lloyd's List for a decade and previous to that the Singapore Business Times covering shipping and aviation.

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