August 11, 2020. On July 27th, the Nordic energy company Gasum has conducted the first truck-to-ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering operation in Germany. Gasum delivered LNG to the world’s first LNG-fueled research vessel ATAIR. ATAIR is currently under construction at Fassmer shipyard in Berne/Motzen in Germany.

ATAIR is the world’s first LNG-fueled research vessel. The vessel will enter into service in 2020 and will replace the old ATAIR, commissioned in 1987. Fassmer was awarded the contract to build the ship for the German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH), which will use the vessel for sea surveying, wreck search and research.

The decision to equip the ATAIR with engines that can run on LNG was made because LNG emits significantly less emissions compared to a diesel-fueled ship. As a result, the new ATAIR does not only comply with the TIER III exhaust emission regulations, but also with the EPA TIER IV rules regarding soot particles. Furthermore, the underwater sounds of the vessel are optimized, which protects the marine environment and ensures optimal conditions for the scientific work.