Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) has extended the grant application deadline for LNG vessel conversions to 31 December 2021.
A number of tanker projects have benefitted from the grant system but as yet no reported container vessel applications have been reported.
BMVI is offering grants of 40-60% of an LNG retrofit cost for ocean-going vessels, the level of grant offered is dependent on the company size. BMVI believes the use of LNG as a bridging technology will allow a future increase in the use of bio and synthetic methane that will eventually enable the development of climate-neutral vessels. So far BMVI has reportedly invested nearly US$37 million in 12 projects.
Meanwhile, the price for HFO on the MABUX World Index averaged US$343.49/tonne while VLSFO had climbed to US$430/tonne on the same scale. Having suffered a shock to the oil system in the spring of 2020 with the failure of oil producers to agree production levels and then the collapse in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic, bunker fuel prices have recovered somewhat.
However, the spread, the difference between the cost of HFO and VLSFO remains below US$100/tonne and that is unlikely to lure many operators to fit scrubber technology.