Second LNG ferry retro-fit wins Berlin funding

Münsterland to join AG Ems LNG fleet Münsterland to join AG Ems LNG fleet

The AG Ems shipping group is to retro-fit a second ferry with LNG DF propulsion following the approval of German Government funding, writes Tom Todd.

The 78.7m loa and 12.6m wide RoRo passenger ferry Münsterland, will be the owner’s third ship to get LNG DF propulsion - but only the second ship in the existing fleet to be lengthened and retro-fitted. In 2015 the AG Ems group pioneered the use of LNG when it lengthened and retro-fitted the RoPax ferry Ostfriesland. In that same year however AG Ems made ship history by taking into service Helgoland - Germany’s first ferry newbuilding with LNG DF propulsion.

The decision now to retro-fit Münsterland came after the German Government promised funding for such projects and handed over an initial notification.The amount was not initially disclosed.

With the Berlin support Transport State Secretary Enak Ferlemann acknowledged the start of long-urged government funding for eco-friendly ship systems. “We are giving the go ahead for the equipping and retro-fitting of sea-going vessels with eco friendly propulsion” and “supporting shipowners in reducing shipping emissions”, he said.

Built in 1986, the 1200 passenger Münsterland carries 70 vehicles and is about the same length as Ostfriesland before it was lengthened to 94.07m.

AG Ems said Münsterland would also get a new stern section in which the LNG system and LNG tank will be located. Company inspector  Claus Hirsch explained: “We gained a lot of technical know-how from the first conversion” and said the procedure would be the same as on Ostfriesland. “We will again build a new stern section while the ship continues to sail”, he said - a reference to the building of Ostfriesland’s new 16m long stern section at the BVT Shipyard in Bremen while the ship itself remained on duty.

However it was not initially known if BVT would get the Münsterland retro-fit work. Neither was the latest ship’s planned LNG system configuration or its supplier named.

Münsterland currently has two 956 kW Wärtsilä 8 R 22 MD engines.

Sister Ostfriesland was fitted with two 6-cylinder Wärtsilä 20DF generating sets and a Wärtsilä LNGPac. It also got double rudder Schottel pods providing 15.5 knots. The LNGPac comprises onboard LNG bunkering, storage tanks, and handling equipment.

The new Helgoland received the same engines.

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