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Argus Media: Suppliers looking to drive bio-LNG bunkering growth

Although use of bio-LNG for bunkering is still in its early days, many firms and port authorities across Europe are planning new bio-LNG production plants or are planning to use bio-LNG as a bunker fuel.

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Bio-LNG suppliers are looking to boost the availability of the fuel for bunkering over the coming years, with firms keen to lock in capacity as new environmental standards on maritime emissions kick in.

9 February 2023

The use of bio-LNG for marine bunkering purposes is still in its early days when compared with usage in the heavy-duty road sector, with the uptake of bio-LNG for vessel refuelling likely to be linked to the widespread use of biomethane in other sectors. But many firms and port authorities across Europe are planning new bio-LNG production plants or are planning to use bio-LNG as a bunkering fuel.

Finnish firm Gasum has plans to expand its bio-LNG bunkering presence in the Nordics and northern continental Europe over the next five years, maritime operations vice-president Jacob Granqvist said. The firm is looking to eventually run its Risavika 300,000 t/yr LNG production and bunkering facility in Norway solely on bio-LNG. Gasum first started producing bio-LNG in Finland in 2020, at its biogas plant in Turku. The firm's bio-LNG expansion is conjunctive to its aim of making 4TWh of biogas available to the market by 2025 through its own production and that of certified European partners.

But bio-LNG's higher price relative to LNG and other fuels — such as gasoil or diesel — has often been seen as a hurdle to development. This has left pricing methods for bio-LNG bunkering varied, Granqvist said. Some firms are seeking fixed pricing with premiums rather than indexation, as firms "don't want exposure of 10-years on bio-LNG molecules", Granqvist said. But the market is keen to "go green" as environmental targets "override price sensitivity", he added.

And new environmental regulations kicking in over the coming years mean that there is even more of an incentive to use bio-LNG as a bunkering fuel rather than standard LNG, he said. The inclusion of maritime shipping in the EU's emissions trading system will mean that shipowners have to pay for 40pc of their emissions from 2025, 70pc from 2026 and 100pc from 2027. But the use of LNG as a fuel in fleets will enable operators to compensate for emissions from dirtier, conventional vessels. The "compensation effect may even be higher once you start blending in bio-LNG", Granqvist says.

"Mixing in bio-LNG makes a lot of sense", according to Norwegian firm Kanfer Shipping's managing director, Stig Hagen. Kanfer is in conversations with the Suez Canal authorities on the potential of introducing bio-LNG at its planned LNG bunkering project at the canal.

Ammonia's future as a bunkering fuel less clear

The maritime sector is also looking into the use of ammonia as a fuel to cut down on emissions, but the costs are higher and availability is lacking.

Supply of ammonia must be increased before it can be widely adopted for use in different sectors, such as as a marine fuel, Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy said last month.

Granqvist is sceptical about using ammonia as a bunkering fuel, calling it a "lame excuse to avoid using LNG". There is "big risk" in ammonia, given that production and compatibility with vessels is still far off, he adds.

But some firms are planning to skip standard LNG as a bunkering fuel completely, instead moving straight to net-zero fuels. This could boost bio-LNG and ammonia consumption in the sector. Danish shipping firm Maersk said in 2021 that it is very concerned with emissions of the greenhouse gas methane from LNG. The firm will instead leapfrog to other alternative fuels, such as biodiesel, bio-methanol, e-methanol, lignin fuels, and green ammonia.

But many firms remain keen on ammonia. Among them, Japan's NYK aims to boost its ammonia bunkering presence and modify an LNG-powered tugboat to run on ammonia, while Japanese engineering firm IHI plans to convert LNG import terminals into fuel ammonia terminals to aid the ammonia supply chain. Kanfer reached an initial agreement with a major fertiliser firm last year for an ammonia bunkering vessel.

By Ellie Holbrook

 

Photo credit and source: Argus Media
Published: 10 February, 2023

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LNG Bunkering

CMA CGM takes delivery of fourth LNG-fuelled containership

Naming ceremony and delivery of vessel, organised at HD Hyundai Mipo in Ulsan, South Korea, marked entry of the fourth vessel in a series of ten specially designed for Northern Europe feeder services.

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CMA CGM takes delivery of fourth LNG-fuelled containership

French shipping giant on Wednesday (19 June) said it celebrated the naming ceremony and delivery of its fourth LNG-fuelled container ship, CMA CGM Tivoli.

Organised at HD Hyundai Mipo in Ulsan, South Korea, on 16 June, the event marked the official entry of the fourth vessel in a series of ten specially designed for Northern Europe feeder services.

“Featuring optimised features for 45-foot containers, increased capacity for refrigerated containers, and innovative forward accommodation to enhance cargo loading and aerodynamics, CMA CGM Tivoli distinguishes itself with a high ‘length to beam" ratio to maximise hydrodynamic efficiency,” the firm said in a social media post. 

“She departed the shipyard on June 15th, 2024, bound for Busan. We wish fair winds and smooth seas to Captain Artur Dumbrov and his crew.” 

 

Photo credit: CMA CGM
Published: 21 June, 2024

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Methanol

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding receives orders for Japan’s first methanol-fuelled RoRo cargo ship duo

Two ships will be built at the Enoura Plant of MHI’s Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Yamaguchi Prefecture, with scheduled completion and delivery by the end of fiscal 2027.

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Mitsubishi Shipbuilding receives orders for Japan's first methanol-fuelled RoRo cargo ship duo

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group, on Wednesday (19 June) said it has received orders from Toyofuji Shipping and Fukuju Shipping for Japan's first methanol-fueled roll-on/roll-off (RORO) cargo ships. 

The two ships will be built at the Enoura Plant of MHI's Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Yamaguchi Prefecture, with scheduled completion and delivery by the end of fiscal 2027.

The ships will be approximately 169.9 meters in overall length and 30.2 meters in breadth, with 15,750 gross tonnage, and loading capacity for around 2,300 passenger vehicles.

A windscreen at the bow and a vertical stem are used to reduce propulsion resistance, while fuel efficiency is improved by employing MHI's proprietary energy-saving system technology combing high-efficiency propellers and high-performance rudders with reduced resistance. 

The main engine is a high-performance dual-fuel engine that can use both methanol and A heavy fuel oil, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 10% compared to ships with the same hull and powered by fuel oil, contributing to a reduced environmental impact. 

In the future, the use of green methanol(2) may lead to further reduction in CO2 emissions, including throughout the lifecycle of the fuel. Methanol-fueled RORO ships have already entered into service as ocean-going vessels around the world, but this is the first construction of coastal vessels for service in Japan.

In addition, the significant increase in vehicle loading capacity and transport capacity per voyage compared to conventional vessels will provide greater leeway in the ship allocation schedule, securing more holiday and rest time for the crew, thereby contributing to working style reforms.

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, to address the growing needs from the modal shift in marine transport against the backdrop of CO2 reductions in land transportation, labor shortages, and working style reforms, will continue to work with its business partners to provide solutions for a range of societal issues by building ferries and RORO vessels with excellent fuel efficiency and environmental performance that contribute to stable navigation for customers.

 

Photo credit: Mitsubishi Shipbuilding
Published: 20 June, 2024

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Methanol

Maersk and Nike to christen methanol-fuelled boxship at Port of Los Angeles in August

Powered by methanol for its maiden voyage and capable of carrying more than 16,000 containers, the vessel will get its new name at a private ceremony at Port of Los Angeles Outer Harbor.

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Maersk

A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk) on Wednesday (19 June) said it will be christening one of the world’s first methanol-enabled vessels when it arrives in Los Angeles this August.

The firm invited the public to go aboard the container ship in Los Angeles.

Powered by methanol for its maiden voyage and capable of carrying more than 16,000 containers (TEU), the vessel will get its new name at a private ceremony at the Port of Los Angeles Outer Harbor on Tuesday, August 27. 

Maersk’s CEO Vincent Clerc will be on hand, alongside special guest speakers from Nike and leading state and local officials. Nike is a partner in the name-giving event.

“Nike is committed to protecting the future of sport and we leverage science-based targets to guide us through our Move to Zero journey,” said Venkatesh Alagirisamy, Nike Chief Supply Chain Officer.

“Operating one of the largest supply chains in the world, we have a responsibility to advance the innovation and use of more sustainable methods that get us closer to zero carbon and zero waste. By working with suppliers like Maersk, who share our commitment to sustainability, we are scaling our use of biofuels in ocean transportation, our main first-mile delivery channel.”

“This event is not only an opportunity to celebrate a remarkable engineering achievement, but the chance to highlight that we can navigate towards more sustainable supply chains if we work together,” said Charles van der Steene, Regional President for Maersk North America.

On Wednesday, August 28, Maersk invites the public to tour the 350-meter-long vessel, which will be sailing from Asia. Visitors will be able to see the Sailors’ living quarters and even stand on the bridge from where the captain controls the vessel. Public tours will require visitors register for a free ticket via an online registration site that will be activated and announced in August.

This is the fifth container vessel in Maersk’s fleet that can sail on green methanol bunker fuel.

 

Photo credit: A.P. Moller – Maersk
Published: 20 June, 2024

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