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Becker Marine Systems has named the company’s first LNG hybrid barge Hummel at the ceremony held at Grasbrook Quay in HafenCity, Germany.

The new, environmentally friendly LNG hybrid barge is a floating power plant constructed to supply low-emission energy to AIDA Cruises’s vessels during layovers at the port of Hamburg.

LNG supplies at ports will allow the ships to switch off their heavy-fuel, oil-powered generators and prevent the release of toxic emissions.

AIDA president Michael Ungerer said: "With this pilot project, Becker Marine Systems and AIDA Cruises are together setting an example for environmental and climate protection, not only for the city of Hamburg but also for the entire maritime industry.

"Becker Marine Systems and AIDA Cruises are together setting an example for environmental and climate protection…for the entire maritime industry." 

"With the LNG hybrid barge, we have again demonstrated that environmental protection and economic interests are not a contradiction for us."

Compared to the conventional marine diesel, the floating LNG power plant will provide fewer emissions and particle discharge, including sulphur and other soot particles. Nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by up to 80% and 30% respectively.

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A test connection between the LNG hybrid barge and an AIDA vessel took place during the ceremony and operations are due to start in spring 2015.

The 76.7m-long and 11.4m-wide barge was constructed by SAM Shipbuilding and Machinery of Komárno, Slovakia.

Hummel is equipped with five generators, the first marine-classified LNG Caterpillar engines, with an overall output of 7.5MW (50Hz/60Hz).

Before the naming ceremony, the vessel completed a 1,500km-long journey from the shipyard in Slovakia through the Danube, Main and Rhine rivers and the North Sea to the Elbe.

Image: Becker Marine Systems’ new LNG hybrid barge, Hummel. Photo: courtesy of Becker Marine Systems Gmbh.