Germany adds one year for LNG fuel grants

The German government continues to back LNG as a maritime fuel and has extended its funding program for equipping and converting vessels for an additional year.

Germany’s ministry for transport and digital infrastructure (BMVI) said shipowners looking to invest in LNG as fuel can now submit their applications until December 31, 2021.

The extension is related to the Covid-19 pandemic that hit the shipping industry hard and pushed back many projects this year, the ministry said.

Additionally, the ministry says the extension would help boost investment in “environmentally-friendly” ship propulsion as Germany continues to drive the sustainability of its shipping forward.

Depending on the size of their project, companies could receive funding of up to 60 percent of the total costs of investing in LNG propulsion, according to the ministry.

Furthermore, the ministry has already completed two funding calls, granting twelve projects about 30 million euros ($36.7 million) in subsidies, it said.

Most recently and through the second call for funding, the Hamburg-based shipping firm John T. Essberger received more than 6.3 million euros for its four new LNG-powered chemical tankers.

Moreover, the ministry said it granted more than 4.8 million euros for the LNG conversion of two cement carriers for the shipping company Baltrader.

Germany has been supporting LNG as fuel for a couple of years now and some ports such as Emden or Brunsbuttel already hosted several bunkering operations.

There are three LNG import developments on the table for northern Germany which could also include bunkering services.

Besides the maritime world, Germany’s network of truck filling stations has been growing steadily involving some of the largest LNG players such as Shell and Novatek.

LNG-powered trucks travel toll-free on German highways as part of a decision by the German government.

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