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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: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

Firm signed a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard “Pacific Sentinel”.





Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) on Thursday (22 February) said it signed a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard the Pacific Sentinel

The turnkey ‘suction sail’ technology, which drags air across an aerodynamic surface to generate exceptional propulsive efficiency, will be fitted later this year, helping the 183-metre, 50,000 DWT oil and chemical tanker reduce overall energy consumption by approximately 10%, depending on vessel routing.

Suitable for both newbuilds and retrofit projects, the system delivers energy efficiency and cost savings for a broad range of vessels, regardless of their size and age.

Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

José Miguel Bermudez, CEO and co-founder at bound4blue, said: “Signing an agreement with an industry player of the scale and reputation of EPS not only highlights the growing recognition of wind-assisted propulsion as a vital solution for maximising both environmental and commercial benefits, but also underscores the confidence industry leaders have in our proven technology.”

“It’s exciting to secure our first contract in Singapore, particularly with EPS, a company known for both its business success and its environmental commitment.”

“We see the company as a role model for shipping in that respect. As such this is a milestone development, one that we hope will pave the way for future installations across EPS’ fleet, further solidifying our presence in the region.”

Cyril Ducau, Chief Executive Officer at EPS, said: “EPS is committed to exploring and implementing innovative solutions that improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions across our fleet.” 

“Over the past six years, our investments in projects including dual fuel vessels, carbon capture, biofuels, voyage optimisation technology and more have allowed us to reduce our emissions intensity by 30% and achieve an Annual Efficiency Ratio (AER) of 3.6 CO2g/dwt-mile in 2023, outperforming our emission intensity targets ahead of schedule. The addition of the bound4blue groundbreaking wind assisted propulsion will enhance our efforts on this path to decarbonise.”

“With this project, we are confident that the emission reductions gained through eSAILs® on Pacific Sentinel will help us better evaluate the GHG reduction potential of wind assisted propulsion on our fleet in the long run.”

Pacific Sentinel will achieve a ‘wind assisted’ notation from class society ABS once the eSAILs® are installed. 


Photo credit: Eastern Pacific Shipping
Published: 23 February, 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Galveston LNG Bunker Port joins SEA-LNG coalition

SEA-LNG said move will further enhance its LNG supply infrastructure expertise and global reach, while giving GLBP access to the latest LNG pathway research and networking opportunities.





Galveston LNG Bunker Port joins SEA-LNG coalition

Galveston LNG Bunker Port (GLBP), a joint-venture between Seapath Group, one of the maritime subsidiaries of the Libra Group, and Pilot LNG, LLC (Pilot), a Houston-based clean energy solutions company, has joined SEA-LNG, according to the latter on Wednesday (21 February). 

SEA-LNG said the move will further enhance its LNG supply infrastructure expertise and global reach, while giving GLBP access to the latest LNG pathway research and networking opportunities.

GLBP was announced in September 2023 and will develop, construct and operate the US Gulf Coast’s first dedicated facility supporting the fuelling of LNG-powered vessels, expected to be operational late-2026.

The shore-based LNG liquefaction facility will be located on Shoal Point in Texas City, part of the greater Houston-Galveston port complex, one of the busiest ports in the USA. This is a strategic location for cruise ship LNG bunkering in US waters, as well as for international ship-to-ship bunkering and cool-down services. GLBP will offer cost-effective turn-key LNG supply solutions to meet growing demand for the cleaner fuel in the USA and Gulf of Mexico.

Jonathan Cook, Pilot CEO, said: “With an initial investment of approximately $180 million, our LNG bunkering facility will supply a vital global and U.S. trade corridor with cleaner marine fuel. We recognise that SEA-LNG is a leading partner and a key piece of the LNG bunkering sector, and will give us access to insights and expertise across the entire LNG supply chain.

“LNG supports environmental goals and human health by offering ship operators immediate reductions in CO2 emissions and virtually eliminating harmful local emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter.”

President of Seapath, Joshua Lubarsky, said: “We are very pleased to be supporting the decarbonization of the maritime industry through strategic, and much needed, investments into the supply of alternative fuels.  We are also happy to be a part of SEA-LNG which has done a wonderful job in advocating for advancements in technology in this vital sector.”

Chairman of SEA-LNG Peter Keller, said: “We’re proud to welcome another leading LNG supplier to the coalition and are looking forward to a mutually beneficial relationship. With every investment in supply infrastructure in the US and worldwide, the LNG pathway’s head start increases. Global availability, alongside bio-LNG and e-LNG development, makes LNG the practical and realistic route to maritime decarbonisation.

“All alternative fuels exist on a pathway from grey, fossil-based fuels to green, bio or renewable fuels. Green fuels represent a scarce resource and many have scalability issues, so we must start our net-zero journey today with grey fuels. LNG is the only grey fuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, well-to-wake, so you need less green fuel than alternatives to improve emissions performance.”


Photo credit: SEA-LNG
Published: 23 February, 2024

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VARO and Orim Energy to supply bio bunker fuels in ARA region

VARO will source, produce and blend various waste and advanced bio feedstocks to high quality bunker fuel specs; Orim will source fuel and gas oils for blending and deliver final biofuel blends to vessels.





VARO and Orim Energy to supply bio bunker fuels in ARA region

VARO Energy (VARO) on Wednesday (21 February) said it is partnering with Orim Energy (Orim) to provide shipping customers in the Port of Rotterdam – and wider Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region - with biofuels. 

The agreement supports the decarbonisation of maritime transportation and inland shipping in Northern Europe. It also contributes to the wider targets set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to reduce the total annual GHG emissions from shipping by at least 20% by 2030 and at least 70% by 2050, compared with 2008 levels.

Current demand for Fuel Oil in ARA , Europe’s largest bunkering hub, is approximately 14 million tonnes per year. Supported by new EU regulations, the market for B30, a blend of 70% Fuel Oil and 30% biofuels, is expected to grow rapidly to the end of the decade. As a result of this joint initiative, VARO and Orim will be well positioned to meet this increased demand and support the decarbonisation plans of their shipping customers.

VARO’s biofuels trading capabilities and growing biofuel manufacturing asset base will complement Orim’s extensive distribution, storage and bunkering capabilities in ARA. Under the agreement, VARO will source, produce and blend various waste and advanced bio feedstocks to high quality bunker specifications. Orim will source the fuel and gas oils for blending and deliver the final biofuel blends to customers’ vessels.

VARO has a long track record of providing biofuels for maritime logistics. Since 2018, the company has supplied the Port of Rotterdam with HVO100 (100% Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil “HVO”) for use with the Port’s service fleet. In 2023 VARO signed an agreement with Höegh Autoliners to supply the company with 100% advanced biofuels for its shipping fleet.

The partnership is aligned with VARO’s strategy to become the partner of choice for customers in the energy transition by providing them with the low-carbon energy solutions they need to decarbonise.

Dev Sanyal, CEO of VARO, said: “Meeting rising demand for blended biofuels is critical to achieving the EU and IMO’s decarbonisation targets for shipping. Our experience in biofuels, combined with Orim’s logistics and bunkering operations, will help meet this demand at Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port facility. I am delighted to be entering into a strategic partnership with Orim and to further build on VARO’s long-established presence in Rotterdam. This is another step in our journey to enable the decarbonisation of the maritime sector.

Edwin Coppens, Managing Director of Orim, said: “Upcoming EU and IMO regulations drive the need to scale up with biofuels and ensure quality assurance going forward. Partnering with VARO allows us to do just that, using each other’s strengths to optimize our blending expertise and network. We will benefit from VARO’s extensive experience with biofuels, which includes joint testing with leading ship engine suppliers. Together, we can increase our sourcing and supply capabilities, extending our reach and further strengthening our position in the ARA region.”


Photo credit: VARO Energy
Published: 23 February, 2024

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