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EU Directive opens perspectives for new business models in the South Baltic ship industry
The South Baltic project MarTech LNG launches a wide-ranging debate on alternative ship fuels in Warnemünde.

The countdown is running: the amended Sulphur Directive of the EU enters into force as of 1st January 2015. This directive regulates the sulphur content of marine fuels, and heralds the end of the oil era in the Baltic Sea marine fuel practice.

As a result, a paradigm change in the maritime industry is just around the corner. According to the estimations, around 60.000 ships have to shift to a new maritime fuel by 2020. All ship types in the maritime traffic will be affected. A new alternative fuel for ships is needed.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is a low-emission alternative to conventional marine fuels. 600 m3 natural gas can be compressed by means of cooling up to –162° to 1 m3 enabling a high energy density.

Countries such as Norway and the USA have been using this technology already for years, and other countries are now on the way of reengineering their land- or water-based infrastructure capable to adapt to LNG technology. In Germany, however, business stakeholders have kept in the background of introducing this technology. There still exists a series of questions in Germany regarding production, bunkering and handling LNG as well as in terms of legal framework conditions. Ship owners face the question of refitting their ships, ports conduct studies and verify possible construction of bunkering stations, and there is a need for new land-based infrastructure for using LNG as well.

In this light, it is high time for a debate on specific course of actions for all related stakeholders. The South Baltic project MarTech LNG has recognised this need and provide with the trainings’ contents the corresponding communication space for the respective regional stakeholders.

Stakeholders from the maritime industry, representatives form the Ministry of Energy, Infrastructure and State Development Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and researchers from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the catchment area (Hamburg) met on 9 January 2014 in the Technology Centre Warnemünde to discuss business opportunities and research prospects as well as to give needed political impetus regarding the introduction and use of LNG. The corresponding expertise in the frame of the training was provided by the ship builders and representatives of different service providers from the ports of Rostock and Hamburg as well as by project partners from Szczecin and Klaipeda.

On 10 January 2014, the training session continued with a practical training on handling LNG. In the frame of this training, representatives of ship building and repair companies, ports, LNG equipment suppliers, freight and passenger carriers have gained insights into practical issues such as LNG ship’s steering in the ports, the use of safety guidelines and practice for emergency situations.

This practical training and contents constitute a novelty for the German stakeholders concerned, since there are no LNG terminals built in Germany yet. Upcoming business and technological LNG trainings will take place in the Swedish, Lithuanian and Polish partner regions.
The South Baltic project MarTech LNG has been awarded with a flagship status within the priority area Clean Shipping of the European Union Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

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<< June 2020 >>
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