Second German LNG ferry conversion begins

Dutch start work on latest German LNG project MünsterlandDutch start work on latest German LNG project Münsterland

Construction of a 15m long stern section for the second conversion of a German conventional RoPax ferry to LNG DF operation has begun at Dutch yard Niestern Sander, reports Germany correspondent Tom Todd.

The new 12.6m wide section will house an extensive package of Wärtsilä components when it is installed in the78.83m German ferry Münsterland, now due to arrive from German operators AG Ems in September for the conversion. At last word it was costing €17.5 million and is expected to last until Easter 2021. In the period up to September, the now 34 year old ship remains in service between the Dutch port of Eemshaven and the North Sea island of Borkum.

Münsterland is almost identical to the AG Ems ferry Ostfriesland, which in 2015 became the first such ship in the EU to be converted to LNG. In the same year AG Ems chalked up yet another first by taking into service Germany’s first LNG DF newbuilding – Fassmer’s 83m Helgoland.

“We have been called ‘first movers’ in the EU and we want to stay that way“, said AG Ems CEO Bernhard Brons. “This includes not only being the first to back LNG but also to consistently develop and support it“, he added.

AG Ems spokeswoman Corina Habben told The Motorship that after conversion, and like the earlier Ostfriesland and Helgoland, Münsterland’s new stern will house two Wärtsilä 6 L 20 DF main engines each of 1065kWe and Wärtsilä LNGPacs. The ship’s current engines are Type 8R 22 MD units also from Wärtsilä.

A Scania-based 232kW auxiliary for onboard power, two Veth azimuthing VL-1250i-CR pod drives with counter-rotating four blade (front) and five blade (aft) propellers and a Veth Jet 2-K-1300 422kW bow thruster will also be part of the converted ship’s new engine and component configuration, Habben reported.

As well as tank and propulsion equipment however Münsterland’s new stern will also also provide the ship, which carries 1200 passengers and 55 cars, with room for 15 more cars, two new public areas and a bigger sun deck. Ship length will increase to around 93.8m.

    The latest AG Ems conversion, like earlier LNG projects, is attracting high-level official support, in this case funding from the German Government, the local federal German state and the EU’s European Regional Development Fund.

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