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Press release | 16.11.2017
Wessels shipping company is preparing for further LNG conversions

Signing of letters of intent with German Dry Docks and MAN Diesel & Turbo

As part of this year's EUROPORT in Rotterdam the Harener Wessels shipping company has now signed letters of intent for the conversion to LNG propulsion of units Wes Janine, Wes Gesa and Wes Carina with the conversion shipyard German Dry Docks from Bremerhaven and with the engine manufacturer MAN Diesel & Turbo. Both partners have already successfully converted the Wes Amelie this year. Gerd Wessels, Managing Partner of the Wessels shipping company: "We would like to continue this successful cooperation. With the Wes Amelie pilot project, we have demonstrated that a conversion to more environmentally friendly LPG is feasible. It’s an important step in the right direction. We would like to continue on this path.”

Guido Försterling, CEO of the German Dry Docks Group is pleased with the development and the step the shipping company is taking. "The commencement of further conversions is only logical. With the experience gained from the pilot project, German Dry Docks will be able to implement follow-up conversions much more efficiently and thus also offer more cost-effective solutions." 

This view is shared by Stefan Eefting, Senior Vice President at MAN PrimeServ in Augsburg: "LNG as a maritime fuel is a consistent and sustainable solution for the shipping industry and we are pleased that the Wessels shipping company wants to convert additional units with MAN at their side."

After her conversion, which was successfully completed in early September, the Wes Amelie sails in an annual charter in the North and Baltic Sea exclusively in LNG operation. The LNG supply could be ensured in a joint effort with the port of Rotterdam. "The road so far has been rocky. The LNG infrastructure needs to be further developed in Europe," says Christian P. Hoepfner of the shipping company. Currently, the Wes Amelie is still provided with LNG through a "rather laborious" truck-to-ship solution. 

With the publication of a funding guideline for LNG conversion and new construction projects, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure has created precedents. The conversion of the three identical sisters of Wes Amelie requires a solid project financing, which also includes subsidies from the funding guidelines. Because, according to Hoepfner: "We will not be able to implement the follow-up projects without funding."

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