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China: Methanol industry players ink agreement to form green methanol energy corridor

National Inner Mongolia Electric Power Mengxi New Energy, Shanghai Yuanba Energy Technology, Tianjin Bohai Chemical Group and COSCO Shipping Energy Transportation will work together to form the corridor.

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Energy firm National Inner Mongolia Electric Power Mengxi New Energy Co Ltd, Shanghai Yuanba Energy Technology Co Ltd, Tianjin Bohai Chemical Group Co Ltd, and COSCO Shipping Energy Transportation Co Ltd on Tuesday (6 February) jointly signed an cooperation framework agreement in Shanghai to establish a “green product (energy) corridor project” for the entire green methanol industry chain.

Manifold Times has previously reported Cosco Shipping Energy Transportation entered a shipbuilding contract for six methanol-fuelled tankers with Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry while Cosco Shipping reportedly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore collaboration in methanol bunker fuel amongst other new areas. 

On 15 December 2023, Shanghai Yuanba Energy Technology signed an agreement with Greece’s Marine Plus S.A. for purchasing Yuanba Energy's green methanol for the EU shipping market, starting in August 2025. 

According to local news reports, Tianjin Bohai Chemical Group and National Inner Mongolia Electric Power Mengxi New Energy are involved in methanol-related projects including the production of hydrogen. 

As part of the agreement, the four parties signed the contract to build a green energy corridor for the entire green methanol industry chain. 

The firms said the signing of this agreement marked a new milestone in establishing and improving the entire green methanol industry chain.

Pooling together their respective resources and industry knowledge, the parties will work together to carry out comprehensive and in-depth cooperation in green energy products including power generation, hydrogen production, synthetic methanol, land transportation, warehousing, shipping and bunkering. 

Disclaimer: The above article published by Manifold Times was sourced from China’s domestic market through a local correspondent. While considerable efforts have been taken to verify its accuracy through a professional translator and processed from sources believed to be reliable, no warranty is made regarding the accuracy, completeness and reliability of any information.

Related: China: Cosco Shipping and bp to explore collaboration in methanol bunker fuel
Related: Cosco Shipping Energy Transportation orders six methanol-fuelled tanker newbuilds

 

Photo credit: Scott Graham on Unsplash
Published: 19 February, 2024

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Methanol

Methanol Institute: Progress as a marine fuel continues across supply chain (Week 15, 8-14 April 2024)

Some quarters of the industry continue to express high level issues around bunkering quality standards, training and availability.

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Chris Chatterton, Chief Operating Officer of The Methanol Institute, provides an exclusive weekly commentary on developments related to the adoption of methanol as a bunker fuel, including significant related events recorded during the week, for the readers of bunkering publication Manifold Times:

Methanol’s positive progress as a marine fuel continues across the supply chain and shipping sectors, with buyers, suppliers and users all advancing plans for adoption and safe handling.

Some quarters of the industry continue to express high level issues around bunkering quality standards, training and availability – all issues that MI has either completed work on or can provide insight and support.

Elsewhere, work continues to increase the reach of methanol as a fuel and its role in lower carbon emissions. With an increasing share of the industry capable of using methanol as fuel, more designs are coming off the drawing board or achieving class approval, increasing the options for maritime industry stakeholders.

Methanol marine fuel related developments for Week 15 of 2024:

VPS Panel Session Highlights Challenges with Methanol Bunker Fuel Adoption in Shanghai

Date: April 10, 2024

Key Points: A recent seminar organized by VPS in Shanghai focused on the use of methanol as a marine fuel, where various industry experts discussed its challenges and advancements. Key participants included representatives from Chimbusco, the Methanol Institute, Green Marine Group, VPS, DNV, and GARD. They covered topics such as the limited availability of green methanol, the need for methanol bunkering standards, and the importance of safety and training in handling new fuels. Chimbusco highlighted efforts to improve methanol supply at ports and develop quality standards. The Methanol Institute addressed the market gap between methanol supply and demand, noting the increasing number of vessels needing methanol. Green Marine Group emphasized safety in the maritime energy transition, particularly with new fuels like methanol and ammonia. VPS and DNV discussed ensuring safety and quality in methanol bunkering, leveraging existing industry standards. Lastly, GARD spoke on the changing risk profiles due to new fuels, stressing the importance of crew training and insurer engagement to manage these risks effectively. This session underlined the collaborative effort required to support the maritime industry's shift towards decarbonization while maintaining safety standards. 

Blueprints Revealed for Cruise Ship Powered by Wind and Methanol

Date: April 10, 2024

Key Points: Norway-based YSA Design has introduced a concept for a sustainable catamaran cruise ship named Seabreeze, catering to luxury cruise guests. This innovative design features transparent bays between the hulls, allowing guests to view the sea directly beneath them. The ship combines environmental friendliness and modern technology by utilizing foldable sails and engines that run on biomethanol for propulsion. Additionally, it includes a hybrid drive system for silent running on battery power. Designed to accommodate 200 guests and 155 crew members, the Seabreeze's dimensions allow it to navigate shallow waters, making it ideal for reaching less accessible destinations. This project reflects the cruise industry's shift towards sustainability and the need to offer unique experiences to environmentally conscious travellers.

Maersk's New Boxship Takes On Methanol for the First Time in China

Date: April 12, 2024

Key Points: The new 16,000 TEU container ship from AP Moller-Maersk, named Astrid Maersk, has recently completed its first methanol refueling in China at the port of Yangshan, Shanghai. This event, announced on Maersk's website, marks a significant milestone as it represents the first instance of green methanol bunkering in the country. The vessel, which was just named last week in Yokohama, is part of Maersk's commitment to sustainability and its efforts to lead in decarbonizing global logistics. Silvia Ding, Maersk's Managing Director for Greater China, highlighted this event as a critical development in building the necessary green methanol infrastructure and emphasized the company's dedication to innovative solutions for a greener future.

Bureau Veritas Grants Approval for Methanol Fuel System

Date: April 10, 2024

Key Points: Bureau Veritas, a classification society, has given preliminary approval to a methanol dual-fuel system designed by Sasaki Shipbuilding for a 9,000 DWT general cargo vessel. This approval in principle (AiP) underlines the feasibility of using methanol as a sustainable fuel option not only for larger ships but now also for smaller vessels. This achievement highlights Sasaki Shipbuilding's ongoing efforts to innovate within the maritime industry by developing ships that can utilize alternative fuels, thus contributing to the industry’s broader sustainability goals. This move reinforces the potential of methanol for environmentally friendly propulsion across various maritime applications.

Development of Methanol Bunkering Platform Scheduled for China

Date: April 4, 2024

Key Points: Green Marine is set to enhance the methanol fuel market in China with the launch of a new trading platform, following a strategic agreement with the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone Lingang Special Area Administration. This initiative will feature the creation of a methanol bunkering training and certification center in Lingang and the development of an online "Green Fuels Trading Platform." This platform will provide essential tools for managing methanol price fluctuations and facilitating methanol transactions, aiming to improve the allocation of green fuel resources in Shanghai and establish a top-tier green shipping fuel service ecosystem. The move comes as methanol gains popularity as a marine fuel, with increasing demand from various shipping segments. Efforts are being intensified to scale up the green methanol supply to meet the needs of new methanol-fueled vessels entering service.

Upcoming Product Tankers to Feature Batteries, Wing Sails, and Methanol Engines

Date: April 11, 2024

Key Points: A new series of refined product tankers set to be introduced in Europe will be equipped with various advanced features aimed at enhancing environmental sustainability. These vessels will incorporate a battery system, wind-assisted propulsion, and methanol-fueled engines, as announced by the French shipping company EuroGreen Maritime, which has entered into a seven-year charter agreement with Norway's Equinor. Designed by LMG Marin France, these dual-fuel MR IMO II chemical tankers will also feature OceanWings® for reduced fuel consumption, a large battery pack for better power management, and a shore power connection to minimize emissions during port operations. Managed by V.Ships France and flagged under France, the tankers are scheduled for delivery from the Wuhu Shipyard in Weihai, China starting in the first half of 2026. This initiative is part of EuroGreen and Equinor's broader strategy to diminish the environmental impact of maritime operations. 

Green Fuels Powered 3% of Maersk's Container Shipments in 2023

Date: April 12, 2024

Key points: AP Moller-Maersk reported an uptick in its use of green fuels for shipping containers, with 3% of its shipments in 2023 powered by such fuels, up from 2% in the previous year. The company aims to increase this to 25% by 2030, defining green fuels as those that achieve at least 65% reduction in lifecycle GHG emissions compared to traditional fossil fuels. The recent increase was primarily fueled by higher usage of biofuel blends and the incorporation of methanol-fueled vessels, including one 2,100 TEU feeder vessel and two 16,000 TEU ships. Maersk is actively working on securing more green methanol and other sustainable fuels to meet its future goals and is also exploring the use of green ammonia and other potential eco-friendly fuels for future operations.

 

Photo credit: The Methanol Institute
Published: 24 April 2024

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Interview

‘Big opportunity’ for bunker traders, suppliers on upcoming FuelEU regulation, forecasts OceanScore

‘Fossil Methanol is disastrous from a well-to-tank perspective due to its low energy efficiency but many biofuels present certain advantages,’ shares Albrecht Grell.

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‘Big opportunity’ for bunker traders, suppliers on upcoming FuelEU regulation, forecasts OceanScore

Bunker traders and suppliers could enjoy a huge market advantage if they start preparing for the upcoming FuelEU Maritime (FuelEU) regulation effective 2025, advises Hamburg-based technology platform OceanScore.

The firm, which provides solutions for the analysis, management, and compliance of maritime emissions, says FuelEU sets well-to-wake greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity requirements on energy used on board ships over 5,000 GT trading in the EU.

“FuelEU is a global regulation issued by Europe and all ships calling Europe are affected by it,” Albrecht Grell, Managing Director, of OceanScore told Manifold Times.

“The regulation aims to increase the share of renewable and low-carbon fuels in the fuel mix of international maritime transport in the EU.”

Grell explained EU has set a threshold for carbon dioxide (CO2) vessel emissions from marine fuels, and the “big opportunity” lies in having players in the bunker sector source for the right type of fuel to market before FuelEU takes effect from 2025.

‘Big opportunity’ for bunker traders, suppliers on upcoming FuelEU regulation, forecasts OceanScore

“Stakeholders will have a pay a penalty of EUR 2,400 per metric tonne (pmt) of VLSFO equivalent to the EU when they generate emissions above the EU Emissions target, from 2025 so it helps greatly when the supplier can source and provide the right bunker fuel for their clients,” he said.

“Shipowners can avoid a fine by using LNG or LPG due to both fuels likely generating compliance surpluses. Fossil Methanol is disastrous from a well-to-tank perspective due to its low energy efficiency but many biofuels present advantages.”

According to Grell, the EU only recognises certain biofuel blends as green. Biofuels made from palm oil are normally not acceptable and the “real trick” is to find waste cooking oil which is legal under FuelEU.

‘Big opportunity’ for bunker traders, suppliers on upcoming FuelEU regulation, forecasts OceanScore

“There will be great opportunity for bunker traders and suppliers to start venturing into biofuels especially the clean biofuels from newer feedstock to help shipowners avoid the EUR 2,400 penalties which will go up when the regulation gets stricter after 2030,” he said.

“Shipowners, in turn, could for example save one tank of accepted, low carbon biofuel and only use it for voyages within Europe, using other fuels on their voyage outside of or to Europe.”

Obligations related to FuelEU will start from 1 January 2025 onwards.

 

Photo credit: OceanScore
Published: 24 April 2024

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Alternative Fuels

ABS publishes new technical and operational advisory on methanol bunkering

New advisory provides the maritime industry with insight into the challenges of bunkering methanol and strategies to address them.

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ABS publishes new technical and operational advisory on methanol bunkering

Classification society ABS on Monday (22 April) released its Methanol Bunkering: Technical and Operational Advisory, expanding its suite of guidance on methanol as a marine fuel.

A key component of the methanol value chain and the overall scalability of the fuel will be the ability to bunker methanol, either by truck-to-ship, ship-to-ship or land storage tank/terminal-to-ship.

The new advisory provides the maritime industry with insight into the challenges of bunkering methanol and strategies to address them.

John McDonald, ABS President and COO, said: “As the class provider for the world’s largest methanol-fueled vessel and with numerous methanol-based projects underway, ABS has unrivalled insight into the adoption of methanol as a marine fuel.”

“Numbers of methanol fueled vessels are growing rapidly and ABS is focused on supporting its safe adoption by the industry, which is why we are proud to offer this publication to support owners, operators and yards with bunkering challenges related to operations, design and training.” 

The publication provides guidance regarding the technical and operational challenges of the supplier to the receiving vessel including critical design issues, regulatory compliance, safe practices, areas of operational processes to consider, training and safety aspects.

Note: Download a copy of the ‘ABS Methanol Bunkering: Technical and Operational Advisory’ here

Related: World’s first methanol-fuelled boxship christened and named “Laura Maersk”

 

Photo credit: ABS
Published: 23 April 2024

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