Liquefied natural gas provider Bomin Linde has decided to start the implementation process for its Hamburg and Bremerhaven terminals.

The terminals in Germany are subject to approval from the authorities and will be operational in 2015.

At present, the company is in the process of finalising preparations to enable manufacturing of the facilities’ key parts and prompt construction.

Planned to be installed on a modular basis, the terminals will have enough flexibility to meet increased demand.

The terminals will supply LNG to the strategic hubs in Hamburg and Bremerhaven and neighbouring ports, such as Kiel, Lübeck, Rostock or Wilhelmshaven.

Bomin Linde LNG managing director Ruben Benders said: "We are fully on track with the projects and will be able to provide ships in all German ports along the North and Baltic Sea with LNG as a clean fuel."

The company’s latest decision will help in establishing LNG as a marine fuel. Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) CEO Jens Meier said an LNG terminal in Hamburg is key for the port’s long-term sustainability.

"As a part of our strategic reorientation ‘smartPORT Energy’, it will support the reduction of air pollutants and carbon dioxide emissions," Meier said.

According to the company, sulphur emission limits for ships operating in the North and Baltic Sea will be reduced starting in 2015.

As a transport fuel, LNG will reduce emissions of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, particular matter and CO2 considerably.

LNG has become a viable fuel alternative in view of declining natural gas prices compared to oil in the last few years.

A survey conducted by HSH Nordbank found that about one in five ship owners is planning to either retrofit their fleet with LNG propulsion, or order new vessels that run on LNG.