VDR: LNG-Propelled Vessels Only Possible with State Support

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Friday December 11, 2015

Alfred Hartmann, president of the German shipowners' association Verband Deutscher Reeder (VDR), Thursday said that liquified natural gas (LNG) powered vessels in Europe have only been possible because of state financial support, IHS Fairplay reports.

"So far not a single LNG-ship could be launched in the whole of Europe that was not subsidised," Hartmann said, noting that such support promised by the German government is still missing from 2016's federal budget.

VDR wants faster implementation of state programs to support retrofit and newbuilding activity to support the use of LNG, especially as there is said to be a premium of around 25 percent on vessels built to use the alternative bunkers.

"It will not be possible to overcome the market entry barriers unless a major state aid scheme for newbuilding construction and retrofitting of LNG-powered vessels is launched," said Hartmann.

Along with a collection of fellow industry players, the so-called "Maritime LNG Platform" alliance, VDR is reported to be calling for a €150 million ($164 million) in funds.

In August, VDR called for government subsidies on behalf of German shipbuilders to advance that country's LNG industry.