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  • World’s first bunkering of containership with renewable synthetic natural gas advances sustainable shipping
  • 2021 October 1 15:04

    World’s first bunkering of containership with renewable synthetic natural gas advances sustainable shipping

    In a world-first for the maritime sector, the containership, ‘ElbBLUE’ – owned by German shipowner Elbdeich Reederei and operated by charterer Unifeeder – has bunkered some 20 tons of green SNG (Synthetic Natural Gas) at the Elbe port in Brunsbüttel, Germany. MAN Energy Solutions held a ceremony to mark the event, which marks the first time ever that synthetic fuel – generated from 100% renewable energy via power-to-X technology – has been employed in commercial shipping, according to the company's release.

    Formerly known as the ‘Wes Amelie’, the 1,036-teu feeder container ship previously made headlines in 2017 when its MAN 8L48/60B main engine was retrofitted to its current, four-stroke MAN 51/60DF unit to enable dual-fuel operation. The first such conversion of its type globally, it showed that existing engines could be converted to LNG operation with a tremendous effect on exhaust emissions and the environment. The ElbBLUE sails in the North and Baltic Seas.

    The liquefied SNG was produced in a power-to-gas facility in Werlte, Germany, owned by kiwi AG. It is generated using 100% renewable energy. The ElbBLUE is now set to continue its journey under the supervision of engineers from MAN PrimeServ, MAN Energy Solutions’ after-sales division. As a result, the vessel’s direct CO2 emissions are expected to decline by 56 tons for this coming trip.

    Power-to-X is a number of electricity conversion, energy storage, and reconversion pathways that use surplus electric power, typically during periods where fluctuating, renewable-energy generation exceeds load. Power-to-X conversion technologies allow for the decoupling of power from the electricity sector for use in other sectors.


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