Carbon Neutral Shipping Takes Big Step Forward

Container ship sets sail from Germany for first-ever voyage powered by CO2-neutral liquid natural gas.

October 2021

A container ship set sail from Germany for first-ever voyage powered by CO2-neutral liquid natural gas. When the ElbBlue left the northern German port of Brunsbüttel at the end of September, it made history. It was the first time a container ship had been fueled with synthetic liquid natural gas (LNG), a climate-protecting alternative to the fossil liquid natural gas currently in use.

“Today is an important day for the maritime transition to clean energy,” said the German national government’s coordinator for the maritime economy, Norbert Brackmann in Brunsbüttel. By fueling a container ship for the first tie with synthetic LNG, we are taking a big step toward the climate neutral ship. It’s a true milestone.”

The use of synthetic LNG is one of Germany’s groundbreaking “lighthouse projects.” The aim is to have zero-emission ships by 2030. To this end, the German government has allocated EUR 58 million for maritime research and development projects in 2022.

“The decarbonization of shipping is a particularly important goal so that we can sustainably continue global trade in the future,” says Germany Trade & Invest Director of Energy, Construction and Environmental Technologies Thomas Grigoleit. “Fueling a ship for the first time with climate-friendly LNG is a major step in that direction.”

© BMWi