The guideline on grants for equipping and retrofitting seagoing vessels for the use of LNG as a shipping fuel is being extended. Following the first two funding calls, a diverse range of projects are already benefitting from grants issued by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI).

At present there are a total of twelve LNG equipping and retrofitting projects being implemented: two new RoPax vessels, one retrofitting of a ferry, three new container feeder vessels, four new chemical tanker vessels and two cement freighter conversions.

Many projects however, could not be realised because of the financial challenges which arose from the Covid 19 pandemic over the last year for the shipping industry. This prompted the BMVI’s decision to extend the funding guideline by a year. More projects will be launched in 2021, thus further boosting investment activity in environmentally-friendly shipping propulsion.

The LNG funding guideline grants subsidies of up to 40 per cent, and depending on the size of the company, even up to 60 per cent of investments in LNG propulsion for seagoing vessels. Apart from the clear reduction in air pollutant emissions, greenhouse gas emissions are also proportionately reduced through the use of LNG. Primarily however, as a bridging technology LNG already offers the possibility of using increasing amounts of renewable bio- and synthetic methane today, thereby paving the way to a climate-neutral shipping industry. The budget for investment funding comes from the Mobility and Fuels Strategy of the Federal Government (MFS).