Germany needs an LNG infrastructure for its shipping industry to prepare for the upcoming energy transformation, says German Shipowner’s Association (Verband Deutscher Reeder, VDR) CEO Ralf Nagel.

He made the comments following a discussion with Rolf Brouwer, Managing Director of German LNG Terminal, in which the two exchanged views, discussing the status of the terminal project in Brunsbüttel and perspectives for shipping companies and the maritime industry.

Nagel emphasised that, from his point of view, LNG was currently the only marketable fuel available with which the maritime industry could approach its climate goals within the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as well as the objectives set for improving air quality.

He said that it is important in the long term that LNG technology will also enable the large-scale use of alternative “green” gases on board ships in an environmentally-friendly way.

“A ship’s engine running on oil-based fuels cannot be converted to ‘green gas’ without great effort and expense – but a dual-fuel or LNG-capable engine can,” explained Nagel, before pointing out, “that’s why we should impartially discuss and carefully weigh up the use of liquefied natural gas to power large sea going vessels – and by all means develop the supply logistics for this at our location.”

Summarising the discussion, Brouwer said, “The LNG terminal in Brunsbüttel is an ambitious and forward-looking infrastructure project because natural gas and therefore LNG play an important role in the energy transformation.”

“The shipping industry is also facing the particular challenge of significantly reducing the emission of pollutants.”

“The planned terminal in Brunsbüttel will be a practical support for introducing more sustainable alternative fuels, especially for shipping traffic.”

The technology also enables the handling of synthetically produced and therefore environmentally friendly LNG.

The plan is to work with two special jetties. The one jetty will handle Q-Max tankers ranging between 120 m and approx. 345 m in length and with a capacity of approx. 265,000m³ LNG, while the other jetty will handle smaller LNG tankers, such as bunker vessels, ranging from 70 m to 170 m.

The terminal will have a maximum unloading rate of 14,000 m³/h which means that large ships can be unloaded in approx. 20 hours.