Gerd Wessels, Managing Owner of Wessels Reederei, said: “This pioneering project marks a milestone in the European container feeder market, and MAN has impressively proven that existing engines can be converted to LNG operation with a tremendous effect on exhaust emissions and the environment.”

As the ‘Wes Amelie’ operates in the Nordic and Baltic Seas, both within Emission Control Areas, it needed to meet the highest environmental standards and strictest limits for emissions, so the conversion safeguards its future competitiveness, Mr Reederei said.

Specifically, the dual-fuel conversion has enabled the vessel to significantly reduce its SOx emissions by >99%, NOx by approximately 90%, and CO2 by up to 20%. The ship now meets both the Tier II and Tier III emission requirements set by IMO.

“By providing customers with the technology to retrofit their existing fleet, we are driving what we call the maritime energy transition. There are roughly 40,000 cargo vessels in operation worldwide. If we are serious about decarbonisation and want the shipping industry to be climate neutral by 2050, we need to take action today,” said Dr Uwe Lauber, CEO of MAN Diesel & Turbo.

Works were carried out at German Dry Docks in Bremerhaven in cooperation with gas-specialist, TGE Marine Engineering, who provided tank and LNG components. Bureau Veritas classed the conversion.

The ‘Wes Amelie’ has 23 sister ships, 16 of them structurally identical, which would allow follow-up projects to be easily implemented, MAN informed.