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Damen wins class and flag states approval for methanol-fuelled workboats

By working closely firstly with Bureau Veritas and later with the Dutch and Belgian flag authorities as well, Damen can now offer designs for a wide range of methanol-powered workboats.

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Dutch shipbuilding company Damen on Wednesday (11 October) said it has won Approval in Principle (AiP) for designs of methanol-powered workboats from the classification society Bureau Veritas (BV) and Dutch and Belgian flag authorities.

Starting in the summer of 2022 and working closely from the outset with BV, Damen has developed and gained AiP for designs of methanol-powered compact vessels. LNG carriers set the standards for this type of fuel, but their size has resulted in rules that are very different to those required by much smaller vessels. A new design approach was needed to make them applicable for workboats.

By working closely firstly with BV and later with the Dutch and Belgian flag authorities as well, Damen can now offer designs for a wide range of methanol-powered workboats. These range from tugs, stationary dredgers and high-speed vessels to fast crew suppliers, pilot boats, stan patrols and fast ferries, as and when the engines for these types of vessels are available.

The framework lays out the design modifications that are required to ensure that the methanol-powered workboats have standards of safety at least equal to their diesel-fuelled equivalents. Part of the process involved identifying existing rules that were not applicable to smaller vessels so they could be replaced with alternative solutions, and then identifying and analysing the risks. The Damen team also had an additional goal; to develop standardised solutions that could be used across the workboat portfolio.

The initial proposals were presented to Bureau Veritas and thereafter changes were implemented in a back-and-forth process. With the collaboration with Bureau Veritas working well, Damen brought on board the flag states of the Netherlands and Belgium on the basis that flag states would need to give their own approvals before vessels can be built. The Netherlands and Belgium were selected as among the most likely early adopters of sustainable workboats.

The next stage was the establishment of a Hazard Identification Workshop. Chaired by an independent expert, solutions were presented, alternative designs proposed, and additional measures and safeguards identified where required. Obtaining the input of all the key stakeholders at a relatively early stage helped reduce the time required to implement all the changes and so achieve approval in principle in a relatively short time.

Pieter Spruijt, Technical Specialist Alternative Fuels and Damen System Owner Methanol Systems, said: “We are very pleased to now have the approvals in principle.One of the interesting outcomes of the design process is that the methanol storage and fuel systems will take up less space than they would have under the prescriptive rules.”

“Small vessels present a real challenge with space at such a premium, but our designs will not only keep the vessels compact, they will also be more sustainable as they will not require additional inputs when being built. This is another step forward in Damen’s ambition to be the world’s most sustainable shipbuilder.” 

Herman Spilker, Bureau Veritas’s Vice President North Europe, said: "Bureau Veritas had the privilege of assisting Damen in achieving an approval in principle for a modular-based methanol fuel system.

“Several innovative technical solutions for compact ships were devised and successfully underwent the approval and HAZID process under the oversight of the acknowledged Flag States of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Kingdom of Belgium. We look forward to assisting Damen in the construction of the inaugural unit.”

Photo credit: Damen
Published: 13 October, 2023

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Methanol

Interview: Methanol marine fuel ‘favourable at the moment’ with X-Press Feeders, says COO

‘There are many pathways in this energy transition, but methanol engine technology is readily available and presents the quickest adoption path for us,’ Francis Goh tells Manifold Times.

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Francis Goh X-Press Feeders

Singapore-based global maritime container shipping company X-Press Feeders is currently looking at green methanol marine fuel as the answer to power its energy transition, shared its Chief Operating Officer.

“Bio-methanol is favourable for the operating profile of X-Press Feeders at the moment as it allows our vessels to still maintain carrying capacity while keeping to a green profile,” Francis Goh told bunkering publication Manifold Times in an exclusive interview on Monday (27 May).

“There are many pathways in this energy transition, but methanol engine technology is readily available and presents the quickest adoption path for us.

“LNG requires a lot of space for the bunker fuel tanks and choosing LNG would have eaten up a lot of carrying capacity for our latest 1,200 TEU newbuildings – which are designed for short trips.

“We operate 100 vessels in our global network, so we still need to stay open to opportunities and future pathways.”

The company recently celebrated the first simultaneous methanol bunkering and cargo operation (SIMOPS) of the 1,200 TEU capacity Eco Maestro in Singapore on 27 May; the containership is the first in a series of 14 newbuildings ordered from Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings and New Dayang shipyard.

“These vessels run a fixed day weekly feeder route and are very fuel efficient. They can complete one round-voyage with just a full tank of methanol bunker fuel,” he added.

Mr Goh, meanwhile, noted training of crew and office staff to be a key factor in X-Press Feeders’ adoption of methanol marine fuel.

“We engaged Green Marine to provide training for us based on the IGF Code (International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels),” he explained.

“The use of methanol as a marine fuel is something new for the containership sector so we had to upskill our own people both on sea and land to use this bunker fuel safely.

“We paired current crew onboard with seafarers experienced with methanol and supported office staff with subject matter experts. Training went on for at least a six-month period before actual methanol bunkering operations [in Singapore].

“Moving forward, we intend to progressively post crew experienced with methanol bunkering to support the remaining 13 methanol-powered newbuildings as they enter service.”

Related: First SIMOPS methanol bunkering operation completed in Singapore
Related: Singapore-based X-Press Feeders takes delivery of methanol dual-fuel vessel
Related: Singapore-based X-Press Feeders to launch world’s first feeder network powered by green methanol

 

Photo credit: X-Press Feeders
Published: 30 May 2024

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VPS conducts assessment on first SIMOPS methanol bunkering op in Singapore

Firm was appointed by OCI Methanol Europe to conduct a quantity and quality assessment of a methanol bunker fuel delivery to “Eco Maestro” in Singapore.

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VPS conducts assessment on first SIMOPS methanol bunkering op in Singapore

Marine fuels testing company VPS on Tuesday (28 May) said it was appointed by OCI Methanol Europe, part of the OCI Global Group, to conduct a quantity and quality assessment of a methanol fuel delivery to Eco Maestro in Singapore.

Captain Rahul Choudhuri, President Strategic Partnerships, VPS, said VPS survey experts Rafael Theseira and Muhd Nazmi Abdul Rahim were at hand during the methanol bunkering to ensure the 300 metric tonnes of methanol transfer was carried out smoothly, having been involved in the first methanol bunkering a year ago. 

Manifold Times recently reported X-Press Feeders, Global Energy Trading Pte Ltd (GET), and PSA Singapore (PSA) successfully completing the first simultaneous methanol bunkering and cargo operation (SIMOPS) in Singapore.

A X-Press Feeder container vessel, Eco Maestro, on its maiden voyage from Asia to Europe was successfully refuelled with close to 300 mt of bio-methanol by GET, a MPA licensed bunker supplier, using MT KARA

The ISCC-certified bio-methanol used for the SIMOPS was produced by green methanol producer OCI Global and supplied via GET, a ISCC-certified supplier.

Captain Choudhuri said the role of the marine, petroleum or bunker surveyor has evolved over the years in shipping and maritime affairs, but the principles have not - and that is to provide independent assessment of the quality and quantity of the product transfer. 

“This may seem obvious but this quality and quantity control is crucial to avoid commercial discrepancies, shortages or fraud,” he said.

“Safety training is critical and we have been on top of this having completed the required MPA fire-fighting course and the IBIA Methanol training course. We will work more with the Singapore Maritime Academy for trainings in future,” he added.

In August last year, Singapore-headquartered independent common carrier X-Press Feeders launched its first ever dual-fuel vessel Eco Maestro in China.

Manifold Times previously reported VPS stating it was the first company to complete a methanol bunker quantity survey (BQS) operation in Singapore on 27 July last year.

VPS was appointed by Maersk and Hong Lam Marine Pte Ltd, to undertake the very first bunker quantity survey (BQS) of a methanol fuel delivery, supplied by Hong Lam to the Maersk vessel on its maiden voyage to Europe. 

Related: First SIMOPS methanol bunkering operation completed in Singapore
Related: VPS completes quantity survey on Singapore’s first methanol bunkering op
Related: Singapore bunkering sector enters milestone with first methanol marine refuelling op
Related: X-Press Feeders launches its first methanol dual-fuel vessel “Eco Maestro” in China

 

Photo credit: VPS
Published: 29 May 2024

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Consortium inks MoU for facility in Egypt to produce green methanol bunker fuel

AD Ports Group, Transmar and Orascom Construction will develop a green methanol storage and export facility, which will provide bunkering solutions for mainliners who have ordered green methanol powered vessels.

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Consortium inks MoU for facility in Egypt to produce green methanol bunker fuel

AD Ports Group, a facilitator of global trade, logistics and industry on Tuesday (28 May) said it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with container shipping line and terminal operator Transmar and global engineering and construction contractor Orascom Construction for the development of a green methanol storage and export facility. 

AD Ports Group said the facility will aim to supply low-carbon fuel for maritime transport, presenting an opportunity to establish clean alternative energy storage solutions globally.

Green methanol is a synthetic fuel produced renewably and without polluting emissions, and can be produced from green hydrogen. This chemical compound can be used as a low-carbon liquid fuel and is a promising alternative to fossil fuels in areas where decarbonisation is a major challenge.  

Aside from the maritime industry, green methanol can help decarbonise other hard-to-abate industries, including chemical and plastics. 

“The addition of a facility in this area will provide bunkering solutions for those mainliners who have ordered green methanol powered vessels and is aligned with AD Ports Group’s overall decarbonisation strategy and expansion into clean energy liquid bulk storage,” the Group added.

Captain Ammar Mubarak Al Shaiba, CEO – Maritime & Shipping Cluster, AD Ports Group, said: "By signing this MoU with Orascom Construction who have vast international experience in bulk liquid terminals for Methanol storage, and Transmar, who have decades of expertise in this region and within terminal operations, AD Ports Group and its subsidiaries are taking a significant step towards the sustainable future of energy.”

“This initiative not only aligns with the UAE's decarbonisation goals but also accelerates the energy transition in shipping, positioning us at the forefront of the green hydrogen revolution and enabling us to contribute to global environmental stewardship and economic diversification."

 

Photo credit: AD Ports Group
Published: 29 May 2024

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