Can Germany learn from LNG pioneer Norway? – A conference discusses the potential transfer of expertise and experience
The Norwegian experience with LNG as a marine fuel and its potential application in Germany gathered a lot of interest: more than 50 representatives of the German and Norwegian maritime sector had followed the invitation of the German Maritime LNG Platform, the Maritime Cluster Northern German and Innovation Norway and attended the conference “Ways to Green Shipping in Norway – a path to be taken by Germany?” on 29th April at the “Hafen Klub” in Hamburg. Equally, with the Hamburg Senator for Economic Affairs, Frank Horch, the State Secretary at the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and Maritime Coordinator of the German federal government, Uwe Beckmeyer, and the State Secretary at the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry, Dilek Ayhan, the organisers put forward high-level speakers from both countries. In addition, renowned German and Norwegian representatives of the maritime sector informed attendees about respective framework conditions, practical aspects and the views of ship owners.
In his opening speech, Frank Horch stressed the importance of the maritime sector, particularly the increasing importance of cruise shipping, to Hamburg, and said the Hamburg Senate was supportive of the use of LNG in the maritime sector and wanted to push it. State Secretary Beckmeyer also highlighted the relevance of LNG for reaching the federal government’s climate protection goals as part of the Mobility and Fuel Strategy and welcomed an intensified exchange between the German and Norwegian governments and representatives of the maritime sector about sustainable shipping.
Subsequently, Norwegian State Secretary Ayhan reported on a new sustainability programme for Norwegian coastal shipping, agreed by the Norwegian government and sector representatives in January 2015. She explained that the programme defines long-term objectives to which both parties have committed themselves to. Following their speeches, all politicians continued their exchange in private discussions.
Meanwhile, Norwegian speakers told attendees about the framework conditions that had pushed forward the use of LNG in the maritime sector. Michael Kraack, Managing Director, Marine Services (Hamburg), demonstrated options for a similar “Green Deal” in Germany.
The second part of the conference mainly dealt with practical aspects: Lasse Karlsen of the Norwegian Maritime Authority talked about safety aspects and regulation for bunkering LNG, and Carl Johan Hatteland gave an insight into the handling of LNG at the port of Oslo. Wolfgang Hurtienne talked about possibilities at the port of Hamburg regarding the use of LNG. This was followed by presentations by Dag Bakka and Ralf Nagel of the Norwegian and German Shipowners’ Associations respectively.
The conference finished with practical examples: Jan Frederik Meling of the Norwegian shipping company Eidesvik Offshore ASA shared his ten-year experience of handling LNG. Arne Woelper, Aida Cruises, highlighted the potential of LNG for cruise shipping. Finally, Nils Haupt, Hapag-Lloyd, argued in favour of more effective sanctioning of violations of the SECA regulations to allow for fairer competition.
A joint dinner, hosted by the Norwegian Honorary Consul, Detlev Palm, concluded the conference and gave attendees ample opportunity to continue their discussions.