Germany’s BSH Fleet Opts for LNG Dual-Fuel Propulsion

| Germany, Berlin
Atair_II_artist rendering Dec2016

Artist rendering of LNG-fuelled Atair

Germany’s Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie, BSH), an agency of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVI), is to modernize its marine fleet with a new EUR 113.8 million (approx. USD 120 m) survey, wreck location and research ship with dual-fuel LNG drive. The vessel, named the Atair after its current namesake, will enter service in 2020.

The ship will be designed to meet the highest environmental requirements for operations in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, will be particularly quiet, and is claimed to be the first ocean-going vessel worldwide that is government-owned and powered by Liquefied Natural Gas. It will also be the largest ship in the BSH fleet at 74 m long and almost 17 m wide,with a draft of 5 meters and a speed of around 13 knots.

The new ship will be built in the Fassmer shipyard in Berne / Lower Saxony with support from Hamburg-based maritime engineering company Technolog Services GmbH. The new building will be equipped with a gas / diesel mechanical drive system for the use of low-emission LNG as fuel. The underwater sounds of the ship are optimized (DNV SILENT Class Notation – SILENT R).

With a 130-cubic-meter LNG tank the ship can operate solely on LNG for 10 days. As a dual-fuel vessel, it also has the option to operate on diesel fuel, using only the highest quality gas oil with a sulfur content below 0.1 percent.

The Atair meets the most stringent standards for emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) according to the requirements of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO Tier III) and beyond the requirements for particulate emissions of the US Environmental Protection Agency ( US EPA Tier IV) and adheres to the standards f the eco-label “Blue Angel” for environmentally friendly ship design (RAL-UZ 141).

The Atair is to be fitted out with an extensive array of scientific equipment (wet and dry laboratory, 200 m2 working deck, winches, tail boom, working crane, etc.). Extensive diving equipment and a diving pressure chamber are also on board. It will be used for sea surveying and wrecking and perform marine environmental monitoring tasks. In addition to the 18-strong crew, an additional 15 persons can be accommodated on board.

Monika Breuch-Moritz , President of BSH: “The new Atair will be the world’s first official navigation vessel with LNG drive. As a German marine authority, which is intensively committed to the sustainable use and protection of the oceans, we are pioneers in the reduction of emissions in shipping.”


The BMVI intends to gradually upgrade the vessels for which it is responsible to alternative fuels such as LNG and to include LNG in specifications for new acquisitions. The Atair represents the starting point for this change of policy.

(Source: Source: BMVI)

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