The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is supporting the equipping and conversion of seagoing vessels for the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel. The aim of the funding programme is to advance the use of LNG in German maritime shipping. The funding is being made available via the Mobility and Fuels Strategy.

LNG as a marine fuel contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions. Unlike conventional, petroleum-based marine fuels, LNG does not create any sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions. Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions are reduced by up to 90 percent and particulate emissions by about 98 percent compared to conventional fuels. The Equipping and Conversion of Seagoing Vessels for the Use of LNG as a Marine Fuel funding guideline (LNGSeeschiffRL) of 2 December 2020 promotes the introduction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in German shipping. The aim of the guideline is to increase the demand for LNG as a marine fuel in Germany in order to provide incentives for the development and expansion of the corresponding LNG supply infrastructure in ports.

The funding is provided in the form of non-repayable grants to finance a share of the additional investment costs for equipping or converting seagoing vessels to LNG operation. The purpose of the funding is either to equip new seagoing vessels or to convert existing seagoing vessels to use LNG as a marine fuel in pure gas or so-called dual-fuel operation. When funding is provided for equipping or converting the main propulsion system, the equipping or converting of auxiliary engines and auxiliary systems necessary for LNG operation are also eligible for funding. Eligible for funding under this programme are companies that own a ship to be converted, those that are planning to build a new ship as the ship’s owner, as well as corporations and public institutions.