Enak Ferlemann, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure, today presented AG Ems with the subsidy note to retrofit the MS “Münsterland” to LNG propulsion.

The Ems corporation is a company already experienced with gas-powered ships, having already converted the MS “Ostfriesland” ferry and newly constructed the “Helgoland” cruise liner.

Ferlemann commented: “With the awarding of the first subsidy note, we are giving the green light to the fitting and retrofitting of seagoing vessels with an environmentally-friendly propulsion system. In this way we are supporting shipping companies in reducing shipping emissions. At the same time our support will accelerate the switch to a fuel that pollutes less.”

The retrofitting of the MS “Münsterland” will facilitate the low-emission operation of the ferry service between Emden or Eemshaven and Borkum. This will benefit the environment at the world heritage site of the Wadden Sea. The goal of the BMVI funding programme is to advance the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in maritime navigation. The funds are made available from the Mobility and Fuel Strategy.

As a shipping fuel, LNG contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gases and air pollutant emissions. As opposed to conventional, oil-based shipping fuels, LNG does not cause any sulphur oxide emissions (SOx). Nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) are reduced by up to 90 per cent and particle emissions by up to 98 per cent compared to conventional fuels.