Dutch shipyard Royal Niestern Sander and ferry company AG Ems have signed an agreement for the conversion of the passenger ship Münsterland to LNG operation.
Valued at EUR 17.5 million (USD 19.6 million), the project will receive support from the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union.
As informed, Royal Niestern Sander will design and build a completely new aft ship for the passenger ship built in 1986, including dual fuel engines, LNG storage tanks, propulsion systems, all LNG installations, pipelines and other systems.
Bernhard Brons, Managing Director at AG Ems, explained that the retrofit project within AG Ems’ Borkum fleet was envisioned as an example of sustainable environmental development in the German shipping sector.
Münsterland will be the second ship in AG Ems converted to LNG propulsion, following Ostfriesland which was retrofitted back in 2015.
Due to the combination of shipbuilding and ship repair, the majority of the conversion operation will take place physically at the ship construction site, whereby the repair dock is not yet needed. The 1,200-passenger Münsterland can continue to operate as usual during this work.
Thanks to the LNG conversion, the Münsterland will start using a much less polluting fuel, which will reduce emissions significantly. The new shape of the stern will also reduce the hull resistance. As a result, the ship needs less engine power to sail at the same speed, which means a reduction in fuel consumption and noise.
In addition to emission benefits, the LNG conversion also offers advantages in terms of material use. Due to the conversion works, many technical systems of this ship oldie are being replaced and upgraded to the current ones. This doubles the lifespan and saves a lot of material, according to Niestern Sander.
In September 2020, Münsterland is scheduled to be withdrawn from service. AG Ems is expected to put the ferry back into service in late February 2021, Brons added.