Last week, Stena Line received funding from the German Government to proceed with the conversion of the 38,000 gt ro-pax ferry Mecklenburg-Vorpommern for LNG. However, with a recent statement, the company informed that it will not carry out the project due to 'budget, technical challenges and both operational and financial risk'.
If the project would have continued, the 22 years’ old Mecklenburg-Vorpommern would have been one of the oldest vessels to be retrofitted for LNG. The age of the ship may have played a role in the company backing off the project, as it could have affected the viability of a conversion by reducing payback time and due to the fact that it could have raises obstacles on the installed engine technology.
Nonetheless, Stena Line trade director Germany Ron Gerlach did not rule out the possibility that Stena could use LNG for its ships in the future. In fact, it has ordered ro-pax vessels from Avic International shipyard in China that will be running on LNG, with the final vessel planned to start operations with this fuel from 2021.
Mr. Gerlach also added that Stena remains open to new technologies that will provide flexibility in its European route network. What is more, the company will now give emphasis on other projects such as a battery project on Stena Jutlandica, which aims to be expanded to more ships. In addition, Stena aspires to extend its onshore power supply solutions to include more of its ports.