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Alternative Fuels

Fleet Management Limited showcases alternative bunker fuels portfolio

Firm has nine vessels powered by alternative fuels under its management and 20 more in the shipyards that it is supervising to build, shares Director.




A tanker fuelled by LPG scaled 1

Prakash Chandra, Director, Fleet Management Limited on Wednesday (12 January) published an article highlighting his company’s systematic approach to adopting cleaner fuel solutions is “going full steam ahead”:

FLEET’s alternative fuel portfolio

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Methanol (low-flash point fuel), Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), Ethane and Ammonia (under development) are some of the alternative fuel options the industry is exploring.

At FLEET, we have nine vessels powered by alternative fuels under our management and twenty more in the shipyards that we are supervising to build. We are also actively working on building Ammonia powered vessels in close collaboration with key industry leaders.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

Currently, we have under technical management seven vessels operating on LNG. Two of these vessels fall under the IGF code (i.e., International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels). These are the vessels that run on LNG – they are not carrying the fuel as cargo. On the New Building front, we are building six chemical tankers and two oil tankers that will run on LNG and fall under the IGF code.

Handling LNG necessitates having a highly trained and educated crew because it is extremely cryogenic and volatile in nature. That’s why we have set up infrastructure at our training institute in Mumbai, like installing liquid simulators to familiarise our crew with electronic engines for handling LNG.

To develop robust dual fuel bunkering procedures, we partnered with Shell and carried out multiple LNG bunkering operations in tandem. We have trained our marine and technical superintendents to perform these LNG bunkering safely and successfully.

We have also set up a strong training curriculum to train our crew on handling vessels covered under IGF code in collaboration with MAN Primeserv Academy, Denmark and WinGD training Centre.

On the design front, we are working with MAN Energy Solutions to develop the new low fuel pressure engine (ME-GA), which is far more efficient, environmentally friendly, and easier to handle than conventional engines. We also looking to install it in the six new vessels we are building for our owners.

Further, we have teamed up with the Norwegian Training Center, Manila and Hindustan Maritime Training Institute, Chennai, to train our crew on IGF code requirements and the efficient handling of the low flash point fuel.  We have more than 200 crew trained on the IGF course and have the Certificates of Proficiency to work on vessels covered by the IGF code. With more vessels powered by alternative fuels joining our fleet, we will continue to build momentum in our crew training efforts.

A tanker fuelled by LNG 768x470 1

Methanol (low-flash point fuel)

Methanol has been recognised as an alternative fuel by many industry experts.

We have been exploring the use of Methanol as a fuel since 2016 – like collaborating with a shipyard in Korea to develop a new design for a bulk carrier that will run on Methanol and working with one of our owners to develop a Methanol-fuelled main engine.

Currently, we manage two MR tankers fuelled by Methanol and four tankers carrying Methanol as cargo. This means we already have a large pool of crew experienced to handle Methanol and can easily obtain the Certificates of Proficiency for IGF vessels.

Our engineers are being trained by MAN Primeserv academy to effectively handle the LGIM (Liquid gas injection – Methanol) engines and with two methanol fuelled ships in operation, this pool is continuously growing. The crew is also being trained at NTC, Manila and HMTI, Chennai on the IGF code requirements.

We collaborated with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard and our principal, Marinvest, to build a bulk carrier powered by Methanol. The vessel design is now ready and being offered to owners to order.

A tanker fuelled by Methanol 2 768x432 1

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)

We have under our management the very first LPG powered very large gas carrier delivered from Japan. The vessel main engine is powered by KHI MAN B&W LGIP (Liquid gas injection – Propane) engine, which operates on LPG.

Again, our key advantage is we have a large pool of crew trained by MAN Primeserv academy to handle the latest LPG powered engine.

With a highly skilled crew on our side, we are ready to welcome more LPG powered ships.


Ammonia, which does not release any CO2 when combusted, has been on the radar of engine manufacturers and GHG activists for quite some time now. It is one of the most talked-about alternative green fuels.

We have been managing vessels carrying ammonia as cargo for a long time and are well acquainted with its characteristics and challenges.

For over a year, we have been working with AP Moller Maersk, Keppel Offshore & Marine, Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping, Sumitomo Corporation and American Bureau of Shipping on the development of ammonia as fuel and ammonia bunkering in Singapore. The project is now at an advanced stage, and the Hazard Identification (HAZID) on the development of an ammonia bunker vessel will commence soon.

The ammonia engine being developed will be working on similar principals as the LGIP (Liquid Gas Injection Propane) engine. We already have an LGIP engine in operation, which means our crew has the technical know-how to operate Ammonia powered vessel.

What’s more, our training institute in India already has in place key components of the electronic engine, engine simulator and a computer-based liquid handling simulator for LNG to train our crew. It is now further being equipped with a Fuel Booster Injection Valve and Gas Injection Valve, both components of an engine used for gas injection.

Sailing toward decarbonisation

There is today a consistent focus given to the potential application of different cleaner fuel solutions in the pathway towards decarbonisation.

Changing fuel means huge investments in fuel production, infrastructure and supply chains, retrofitting of ship engines and storage and bunkering facilities, modification of fuel tanks and fuel delivery systems, retraining of crew and terminal staff, adjustments to contracts, and reassessment and recertification of equipment and processes. It requires foresight, planning and collaboration extending beyond the shipping industry. It also requires fuel availability, at scale and at a viable price.

As things stand at present, it appears that the transition to alternative fuels for shipping is likely to be led by industry participants, rather than regulators, and that the future is likely to be diverse.  A variety of fuels may be deployed across the industry with not all sectors, or even ships within sectors, utilising the same fuel and possibly even with some ships utilising multiple fuels, and power supplements such as wind and solar power, aboard.

As a prudent ship manager, we will keep a close watch on how things are developing on this front and will continue to work with our owners and our industry partners to find sustainable solutions that are right both from an environmental and commercial point of view.


Photo credit and source: Fleet Management Limited
Published: 20 January, 2022



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Alternative Fuels

DNV paper outlines bunkering of alternative marine fuels for boxships

Third edition of its paper series focuses on LNG, methanol and ammonia as alternative bunker fuel options for containerships; explores bunkering aspects for LNG and methanol.





DNV paper outlines bunkering of alternative marine fuels for boxships

Classification society DNV recently released the third edition of its paper series Alternative fuels for containerships, focused on LNG, methanol and ammonia as alternative bunker fuel options for containerships.

In its updated paper series, DNV examined the different alternative marine fuel options and provided an overview of the most important technical and commercial considerations for the containership sector.

It explored the bunkering technology for LNG, bunkering infrastructure for methanol, and availability and infrastructure of ammonia. 

Building on the foundation laid in the second edition, which focused on the most important aspects of methanol as a fuel, this latest third edition delves deeper  – exploring the technical intricacies and commercial considerations associated with adopting methanol as an alternative fuel for containerships.

Furthermore, it provides an overview of crucial aspects related to ammonia and discusses its potential as an alternative fuel for containerships.

Amongst others, the new edition of the paper looks at the following aspects:

  • Technical design considerations for methanol
  • Commercial implications of adopting methanol as an alternative fuel
  • Ammonia's potential as an alternative fuel
  • Availability, infrastructure and ship fuel technology for ammonia
  • Major updates based on the latest IMO GHG strategy decisions at the MEPC 80 meeting

Note: The third edition of DNV’s full paper titled Alternative Fuels for Containerships can be found here.

Related: DNV paper outlines bunkering infrastructure of alternative fuels for boxships

Photo credit: DNV
Published: 29 November, 2023

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Alternative Fuels

EDF, LR and Arup launch tool scoring ports’ potential to produce and bunker electrofuels

Tool is also applied to three different port scenarios, including ports exploring fuel production and bunkering, ports exploring fuel exports, and ports exploring fuel imports and bunkering.





EDF, LR and Arup launch tool scoring ports’ potential to produce and bunker electrofuels

Lloyd’s Register (LR) Maritime Decarbonisation Hub and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), in collaboration with Arup, on Tuesday (28 November) introduced the Sustainable First Movers Initiative Identification Tool, a system to help shipping stakeholders align investment decisions that support the maritime energy transition away from fossil fuels.

The tool, which is presented in a preliminary findings report – The Potential of Ports in Developing Sustainable First Movers Initiatives – scores a port’s potential to produce and bunker electrofuels while delivering local environmental and community benefits in alignment with the global temperature target of 1.5 degrees Celsius set by the Paris Agreement.

“Ports can play an important role in kickstarting shipping’s decarbonisation process even before global policies are established,” said Marie Cabbia Hubatova, Director, Global Shipping at Environmental Defense Fund.

“By considering the impact sustainable first mover initiatives can have on port-side communities, climate, environment and economies, resources can be better directed to locations where these initiatives will make the biggest difference.”

With close to two billion people living near coastal zones globally, the role of, and impacts on local port communities must be intentionally considered as the sector decarbonises globally. Ports can play a crucial role in ensuring shipping decarbonisation efforts are done in a way that has positive impacts on port communities.

The preliminary phase of the Sustainable First Movers Initiative Identification Tool analyses 108 ports in the Indo-Pacific region according to five criteria including land suitability, air quality, renewable energy surplus, economic resilience and ship traffic.

It is also applied to three different port scenarios, including ports exploring fuel production and bunkering, ports exploring fuel exports, and ports exploring fuel imports and bunkering. The combined criteria and scenario evaluation determines which ports have the greatest potential (high potential) for sustainable first mover initiatives to lead to significant emissions reductions and positive impacts in nearby communities, such as improved air quality and economic resilience.

“The transition to clean energy supply for shipping can be achieved only if stakeholders act together. Identifying potential port locations is the first step in this process,” said Dr Carlo Raucci, Consultant at Lloyd’s Register Maritime Decarbonisation Hub. “This approach sets the base for a regional sustainable transition that considers the impacts on port-side communities and the need to avoid regions in the Global South lagging behind.”

Regions in the Global South are fundamental in driving the decarbonisation of shipping. To make this transition effective, the rate at which different countries adopt and scale up electrofuels must be proportional to the difference in capital resources globally to avoid additional costs being passed on to local communities. Sustainable first mover initiatives can play an important role in making this happen by ensuring the sector’s decarbonisation is inclusive of all regions and by engaging all shipping stakeholders, including port-side communities.

“There’s a huge opportunity for early adopter shipping decarbonisation initiatives to unlock benefits for people and planet – shaping the way for a more equitable transition in the 2030s,” said Mark Button, Associate, Arup. “Our collective approach shows that taking a holistic view of shipping traffic, fuel production potential and port communities could help prioritise action at ports with the greatest near-term potential.”

The tool can be customised according to stakeholders’ needs and goals and is dependent on scenario desirability. The next phase of this work will include the selection and detailed assessment of 10 ports to help better understand local needs and maximise the value offered by sustainable first mover initiatives. 

LR and EDF carried out a joint study on ammonia as shipping fuel, and LR and Arup have collaborated on The Resilience Shift study focused on fuel demand for early adopters in green corridors, ports, and energy systems, amongst many other projects.

Photo credit: Lloyd’s Register
Published: 29 November, 2023

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Wärtsilä signs agreement for first zero-emission high speed ferries in US

Group has signed a strategic partnership agreement to provide its Fleet Electrification and Systems Integrator Services for a project to build the first zero-emission high speed ferries in the United States.





Wärtsilä signs agreement for first zero-emission high speed ferries in US

Technology group Wärtsilä on Tuesday (28 November) said it has signed a strategic partnership agreement to provide its Fleet Electrification and Systems Integrator Services for a project to build the first zero-emission high speed ferries in the United States.

The fully electric vessels will be built for San Francisco’s Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), the operator of the San Francisco Bay Ferry system.

The project, and several others Wärtsilä will work on under this partnership, are a part of the agency’s Rapid Electric Emission-Free (REEF) Ferry Program, a phased decarbonisation of high-speed, high-capacity ferry service in the San Francisco Bay. 

Wärtsilä will work within the WETA project team to finalise vessel and charging system concepts.

“We’re proud to operate the cleanest high-speed ferry fleet in the nation, but a zero-emission future for our system is within reach,” said WETA Executive Director, Seamus Murphy. 

“Wärtsilä’s expertise and experience will be incredibly valuable given the complexity our ferry decarbonisation program entails.”

“This is a major project within the maritime sector’s journey towards decarbonisation, and we are proud to be a part of it,” said Hanno Schoonman, Director of sales for AMER region, Wärtsilä Marine Power. 

“Wärtsilä joins an industry leading team tasked to develop newbuild battery electric vessels that combine innovative technology and sustainable practices. Wärtsilä is well qualified to provide this project support, and this agreement is a clear endorsement of our strong track record in systems integration and emission-free propulsion.”

After completing the conceptual phase, WETA will move on to the initial construction phase of a multi-vessel programme. This phase will involve the building of three smaller ferries with a capacity of approximately 150 passengers each and two larger ferries capable of carrying at least 300 passengers. 

Additionally, the scope of this phase will encompass the inclusion of battery charging floats. The construction of the first electric-powered vessel is slated to commence before the conclusion of 2023, with commercial operations expected to launch in 2025.

Photo credit: Wärtsilä 
Published: 29 November, 2023

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