The container ship ‘Elbblue’ (formerly ‘Wes Amelie’) was refuelled today in Brunsbüttel with 20 tonnes of CO2-neutral synthetic liquefied gas (SNG) for the first time. For the shipping industry, this is another significant milestone on the road to environmentally- and climate-friendly shipping.

On the path to transforming from fossil to an increasingly renewable energy supply and particularly to achieve the ambitious long-term goal of a CO2-neutral transport industry, synthetic, CO2-neutrally generated fuels play a major role in shipping.

The SNG fuel which was used to refuel the ‘Elbblue’ comes from the industrial scale power-to-gas (PtG) demonstration facility in Werlte, Lower Saxony. The construction of the PtG liquefaction plant there was only recently completed. Based on this structural expansion at the site, the PtG methane produced can now be mixed with fossil liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a CO2-neutral drop-in fuel. The greenhouse gas impact of LNG-operated ships is thus reduced even more.

As part of today’s bunkering event ‘Elbblue goes SNG’ held by MAN Energy Solutions at the Brunsbüttel Ports GmbH site, the ‘Elbblue’ became the first commercial maritime ship in the world to be bunkered with CO2-neutrally produced liquefied methane as a drop-in fuel. The ‘Elbblue’ then continued its voyage, thus demonstrating the successful real-world application of SNG in maritime freight transport.

In 2017, the ‘Elbblue’ became the world’s first container ship to be converted to an LNG dual fuel drive. The pilot project was financially supported by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) under the federal government’s Mobility and Fuels Strategy (MFS). NOW GmbH provided specialist support for the LNG conversion on behalf of the BMVI.