Germany: Major Bunker Fleet Renewal Required for Future Low-carbon Bunker Market

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday May 7, 2024

A study of how the emergence of a low-carbon bunker market in German sea and inland ports might reshape the current bunker market has pointed to the need for a major bunker fleet renewal to supply ships with the new fuels. 

According to the report, ocean-going bunker demand from German seaports has been in decline for some years while inland demand has remained steady. But the emergence of a low-carbon marine fuel market -- expected to dominate by 2050 -- presents a different picture.

The study finds a total of 49 new bunkering vessels may be needed.

"All alternative fuels have a lower volumetric energy density than conventional fuels, even when liquefied or compressed," according to the study.

" As a result, a larger total bunker volume can be expected in shipping in the future with the same or similar energy requirements, accompanied by a higher number of bunkering operations or a higher bunkering frequency."

New ships will need to be built. For the North Sea across all fuel types it has suggested that 13 small, five large and four very large bunker ships are required.

For the Baltic Sea and across all fuel types, 22 small, two medium and three large bunker ships would be required.

The wide-ranging study -- Refuelling infrastructure for low-carbon and renewable marine fuels in Germany -- is available in English and German and was commissioned by NOW GmbH and undertaken by the Ramboll consultancy.