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China: Headway unveils proprietary Methanol Fuel Supply System and CCSU, leads forum on alternative bunker fuel and propulsion technology

Headway Technology Group organised a forum discussing the latest advancements and prospects of alternative bunker fuels and propulsion technologies in late October.





Qingdao-based maritime technology firm Headway Technology Group (Headway) on Friday (27 October) organised the Forum of Alternative Fuel and Propulsion Technology in Yantai, China. 

With the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry (CANSI) and the China Shipowners' Association (CSA) as hosts, many representatives from government agencies, industrial associations, ship owners, shipyards and naval design institutes gathered at this event to engage in detailed discussions on the latest advancements and prospects of alternative bunker fuels and propulsion technologies. 

During the forum, Headway showcased its groundbreaking Methanol Fuel Supply System, which was in live operation. The event garnered support from notable organisations, including the Shandong Provincial Association of the Shipbuilding Industry (SPASI), Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI) and leading universities.

Headway took centre stage at the forum by unveiling two advanced decarbonisation solutions: the Methanol Fuel Supply System (LFSS) and the Carbon Capture, Storage and Utilisation System (CCSU).


Additionally, the firm formalised a Cooperation Agreement on Alternative Fuel Conversion with PaxOcean Engineering Zhoushan Co., Ltd and SDARI. 

Under this agreement, the three companies will collaborate to provide comprehensive turnkey solutions, encompassing retrofitting, installation, commissioning and technical/after-sales support for alternative bunker fuel sources such as methanol and ammonia. The partnership is anticipated to yield mutual benefits for the entire supply chain and, most importantly, for the customer.  


Ms. Naifen Tan, Deputy Secretary General of CANSI, emphasised that the global economic slowdown has introduced increased uncertainties and challenges. Furthermore, with the finalisation of the “2023 IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships”, the shipping industry has embarked on a faster journey toward decarbonisation.

In this context, the shipbuilding industry finds itself at a crossroads, brimming with both opportunities and challenges. There is an urgent need for a stronger commitment to digitalisation and green technologies, fostering the growth of intelligent manufacturing and integrated solutions. These steps are essential in empowering a bottom-up approach to conversion. 

Ms. Tan commended the forum for providing a valuable platform for the industry to explore possibilities for steering the shipping sector toward a greener future.

The other two specially invited guests further prepared speeches. Ms. Ying Xin from Department of industry and information Technology, and Mr. Hailong, Chen from a leading university, underscored that venturing down the path of industrialisation is a critical objective for achieving industrialisation with distinct Chinese characteristics. 

Both emphasised that promoting innovation serves as the cornerstone of industrialisation, and sustainability should be ingrained as an integral element of this process. It was mentioned in a recent provincial ship and offshore supply chain conference, the paramount importance and concentrating efforts should be put in key areas and prioritising major tasks aimed at fostering the exclusive, intelligent and sustainable development of the shipping industry. 

Universities should fully take the advantages of talents and scientific and technological innovation, cooperate with suppliers in the industry, seize the research and development opportunities of key technologies for green ships, and jointly promote the update and iteration of new energy power technologies for ships.

During the forum, Mr. Yao Yu, the Director of the Mechanical and Electrical Department at the Development Institute of Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co., Ltd., delivered a keynote speech on "The Application of Methanol Propulsion Systems for Large Container Carriers". He shared Jiangnan's extensive expertise in the design and construction of large, low-carbon container carriers.

Dr. Enzhe Song, an expert in marine power and propulsion, representing leading Chinese universities, gave a speech titled "Development Path of Marine Propulsion". The presentation provided a detailed introduction to the strategic requirements and potential development pathways for alternative marine fuels. Dr. Song's speech also outlined a practical approach for Chinese shipping companies to achieve green and sustainable development tailored to their specific needs.

Kechao Lu, the Director of the Strategy & Development Department at Headway, delivered a speech titled "Headway's Low Carbon Solutions based on the Strategy for Reduction of GHG Emissions". This presentation fully unveiled Headway's comprehensive solutions for low-carbon shipping, along with sharing data analytics from bench tests of the OceanGuard® LFSS.

Zhuo Zhang, Director of the Innovation Center at SDARI, introduced SDARI's brand-new Dolphin 210,000 and 85,000 DWT methanol dual-fuel bulk carriers. He also shared insights on optimized tanker and PCTC designs.

Hongxing Li, Promotion Manager at MAN Energy Solutions, delivered a speech titled "Introduction to Two-Stroke Methanol Marine Engines and Auxiliary Systems". This presentation provided technical specifications for MAN's two-stroke methanol engines, highlighted major components, and discussed modular retrofitting.

Field visit to Headway’s alternative fuel test centre 


Later in the afternoon, the speakers and audience had the opportunity to visit Headway's alternative fuel test centre to observe the OceanGuard® Methanol Fuel Supply System in action. The test centre was purposefully designed to serve as an intelligent platform, facilitating technical research, commercialisation, product testing and talent development. The field visit provided an in-depth understanding of the components and operational aspects of the OceanGuard® LFSS, including the Methanol Supply Unit, Bunkering Unit, Service Tank and Control Unit.

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“The forum, as a whole, serves as a pivotal platform for the alternative fuel value chain to foster communication and collaboration. It is poised to drive the industry toward a greener future, characterised by mutual benefits. This collective effort will propel the industry along a steady and sustainable path toward a more environmentally conscious course,” Headway concluded. 

Photo credit: Headway Technology Group
Published: 6 November, 2023

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Singapore: Allision between dredger and bunker tanker was not caused by port congestion, says Transport Minister

‘Investigations are still on-going, but preliminary findings show that the allision on 14 June was caused by the dredger experiencing sudden loss of engine and steering controls,’ says Chee Hong Tat.





Singapore: Allision between dredger and bunker tanker was not caused by port congestion, says Transport Minister

The allision between Netherlands-registered dredger VOX MAXIMA and stationary bunker tanker MARINE HONOUR on 14 June was not caused by port congestion, Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat said on Tuesday (18 June). 

Netherlands-flagged dredger Vox Maxima crashed into a stationary Singapore-flagged bunker vessel Marine Honour on 14 June, causing oil from the bunker vessel’s cargo tank to spill into Singapore waters. 

Chee said some members of the public have asked if this incident was due to congestion in our port waters.

“Investigations are still on-going, but preliminary findings show that the allision on 14 June was caused by the dredger experiencing sudden loss of engine and steering controls,” he said a social media post.

“It is not due to port congestion as our port waters and anchorages are not congested. The earlier reports on delays experienced by container vessels are a separate matter that is due to the bunching of container vessels arriving at PSA.”

Chee added it will take time for Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to complete the full investigations and progressively clean up the oil spill. 

“We seek the understanding of members of the public and businesses who are affected by this incident. We will do our best to complete the clean up as soon as possible.”

Manifold Times previously reported MPA stating that it saw large increases in container volumes and the “bunching” of container vessel arrivals over the previous months due to supply chain disruptions in upstream locations.

Later, MPA confirmed that since the beginning of 2024, Singapore saw a significant increase in vessel arrivals.

In the first four months of 2024, MPA said the monthly average tonnage of container vessel arrivals reached 72.4 million gross tonnage (GT). This is an increase of more than one million GT per month, compared to the same period last year. 

On 20 June, in a joint statement, authorities said the northern part of the Pasir Panjang Container Terminal (PPT) is cleared of oil slicks following the deployment of the Current Buster, an oil recovery and containment system, since 18 June. 

Thorough cleaning of the oil-stained Berth 36 near the allision area using high-pressure jets is on-going.

PPT was the location of the oil spillage following the 14 June allision between Netherlands-registered dredger VOX MAXIMA and stationary bunker tanker MARINE HONOUR. 

“The deployment of the Current Buster at this upstream location is important to prevent surface oil from flowing westwards towards West Coast Park which is unaffected till date, and also eastward towards downstream locations, including Sentosa beaches, Sentosa Cove, Southern Islands, and Keppel Marina,” authorities, including MPA, said.  

Three Current Buster systems have been deployed. Two systems capable of five tonnes of recovered oil per load are deployed off western affected areas at PPT and Sentosa. The other system capable of 35 tonnes load is deployed off eastern affected areas off East Coast and Changi East as a precaution to recover any oil and prevent further spread. Another 35 tonnes-load Current Buster system will be deployed shortly.

Total length of booms deployed since 14 June is 3400 meters. This is more than the approximate 3100 meters originally planned.

Note: The full statement by Singapore authorities including progress of the shore clean-up effort can be found here

Related: Singapore: Oil spill cleanup after allision between dredger “Vox Maxima” and bunker tanker “Marine Honour”
Related: Singapore sees large increases in container volumes, bunkering activities remain unaffected
Related: MPA reports ‘significant increase’ in vessel arrivals in Singapore


Photo credit: Singapore Transport Ministry / Chee Hong Tat
Published: 20 June, 2024

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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.





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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VPS and Normec Verifavia to offer data-driven and verified emissions data

Both firms signed a partnership agreement with Normec Verifavia to support improved vessel data for MRV / EU ETS reporting and beyond.





VPS and Normec Verifavia to offer data-driven and verified emissions data

Marine fuels testing company VPS on Monday (17 June) said it has signed a partnership agreement with Normec Verifavia to support improved vessel data for MRV / EU ETS reporting and beyond. 

In the face of tightening regulations and focus, VPS said large parts of the maritime industry are in the midst of stepping up their efforts to collect high-quality emissions data from vessel operations. 

“To meet this demand, VPS and Normec Verifavia will offer vessel owners and the wider maritime ecosystem to have indisputable emission numbers produced in a data-driven way,” the firm said.

“For vessel owners, this ensures compliance with upcoming MRV and EU ETS requirements where reported emission numbers need to be verified by a certified verification body.”

The partnership will combine the strengths that VPS have in data-driven decarb and Normec Verifavia´s position as an agile and independent third-party data verifier. The two companies offer a plug-and-play setup, where the vessel owner can experience a seamless and integrated experience in the handling and verification of fleet fuel- and emission numbers. 

 The first step of the partnership is to offer verification for VPS customers using the Maress system for data-driven decarbonisation. Maress is a leading tool in the offshore industry, handling the complexities around fuels- and emissions optimization and assisting crew and onshore personnel in making informed decisions on how to reduce vessel and fleet footprint. Maress is used by a diverse set of stakeholders in the offshore sector, such as vessel owners, contractors, management companies, charterers and more.  

Further, VPS also offers the Emsys technology for precise and real-time measurement of the emissions going through the vessel smokestack. This data can be fed directly to Maress and subsequently verified by Normec Verifavia to provide full control of all aspects of the fuels- and emissions related to vessel operations.

Jan Wilhelmsson, COO, Digital & Decarbonisation of VPS

Jan Wilhelmsson, COO, Digital & Decarbonisation of VPS

Jan Wilhelmsson, COO, Digital & Decarbonisation of VPS, said, "We see a rapid development where the market is no longer willing to take the risk of not knowing -precisely- what the emissions from operations are. We are excited about the fact that the partnership with Normec Verifavia enables all Maress users to get their emission numbers verified. It will literally be a one stop shop for data collection, analytics, collaboration and verified emission reporting."

Yuvraj Thakur, Managing Director & VP Commercial, Normec Verifavia, said: “The maritime industry faces a crucial challenge: achieving transparency and driving progress towards a decarbonised future. Normec Verifavia's collaboration with VPS represents a significant step forward in this direction.”

“By leveraging their expertise in data-driven decarbonization tools like Maress, we can empower asset owners to streamline the entire emissions data lifecycle. This will not only enhance the accuracy of reported data but also significantly reduce the administrative complexities faced by many stakeholders. This collaborative effort strengthens the foundation for a more sustainable maritime industry.”

The ability for Maress customers to verify emission numbers will be immediately commercially available.

Photo credit: VPS
Published: 20 June, 2024

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