Becker Marine Systems is expecting the first LNG Hybrid Barge, which in future will be supplying cruise ships with low-emission, environmentally-friendly energy, to soon arrive at the Port of Hamburg.
The LNG Hybrid Barge, the first classified vessel employing LNG technology under German flag, is expected at the weekend. “If all goes well and the weather remains stable, the LNG Hybrid Barge should be arriving at its future home port of Hamburg on 4th or 5th October,” said Dirk Lehmann, Managing Director of Becker Marine Systems.
Following the technical launch at Komarno, Slovakia one month ago, the 76.7 m long, 11.4 m wide and approx. 1.7 m draught LNG Hybrid Barge was set off on its way towards the North Sea.
“Despite some narrow river bends and many locks, the 1,500 km trip up the Danube, Main and Rhine rivers has so far progressed with no trouble at all,” said Lehmann. On land, an info bus from Hybrid Port Energy GmbH (the operator of the LNG Hybrid Barge and a subsidiary of Becker Marine Systems) has been accompanying the tow convoy.
After arriving in Hamburg, it will be dry docked at the Blohm + Voss shipyard for final outfitting and for technical testing in a multi-stage test procedure. In mid-October, the connector for supplying power to cruise ships will be handed over to cooperation partner AIDA Cruises as part of a naming ceremony. The LNG Hybrid Barge will then be connected via cable to the “AIDAsol”ship for the first time on a test basis. Becker Marine Systems will be announcing the exact date shortly beforehand.
It won’t be only at the home port of the LNG Hybrid Barge that the pioneering project for environmentally-friendly power supply of cruise ships will be observed with anticipation, because in the course of rising global environmental awareness and increasingly stringent regulations, Becker Marine Systems’ LNG Hybrid Barge is regarded as an innovative project for the global shipping industry.
Hamburg will be the first port in Europe to be providing an external, low-emission power supply to cruise ships. Liquefied natural gas is a fuel that will enable the generators on ships to be switched off during layovers at port. This will avoid sulphur oxides and soot particles and at the same time significantly reduce the emission of nitrogen oxides and C02.
Press Release, October 2, 2014; Image: Becker Marine Systems