Eiger-Nordwand, the first inland waterways vessel retrofitted with LNG engines, has been inaugurated, according to the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA). The vessel is a pilot one under the "LNG Masterplan Rhine-Main-Danube" project.
The plan has been supported by the European Union and represents a series of extensive studies and tests to assess the LNG usage as a fuel for ships across rivers and canals in Europe. The project has been funded with $55 (€40) million. Dirk Beckers, executive director of INEA, said:
“This is only a start. The LNG Masterplan is a prime example of the opportunities we have ahead to develop new technologies and new fuels, and I am confident that this project will continue to deliver benefits to inland waterways by analyzing and testing all aspects related to LNG deployment."
LNG is rapidly emerging as a more environmentally friendly fuel for the shipping sector and its uptake is strongly encouraged by the European Union.”
Eiger-Nordwand's old engines have been replaced with dual-fuel LNG engines by Wartsila.
Video: the tests run of the Wärtsilä 6L20DF engine.
According to Danser Group, the conversion gives great advantages to the vessel in emission reduction (99 per cent less particulates, 85 per cent less nitrogen and 20 per cent less CO2). This also will benefit the fuel costs.
As part of the master plan, a series of inland waterway ships will get the LNG retrofit,Eiger-Nordwand is its major milestone. The "LNG Masterplan Rhine-Main-Danube" is due to be finished by the end of 2015. It is expected to have significantly impacted the introduction of LNG to the inland waterway networks in Europe.
Eiger (MMSI 244660203) is a cargo vessel registered in the Netherlands.Its lenght is 105 meters.