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Alternative Fuels

GreenVoyage2050 Low Carbon GIA maps regulatory status of alternative bunker fuel usage

Ammonia, hydrogen, ethane and Dimethyl Ether (DME) are among the “alternative” marine fuels which may need future regulatory work, according to regulatory mapping exercise result.

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Ammonia, hydrogen, ethane and Dimethyl Ether (DME) are among the “alternative” marine fuels which may need future regulatory work.

This assessment is the result of a regulatory mapping exercise conducted by the Alternative low- and zero-carbon fuels workstream of the GreenVoyage2050 Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon Shipping (Low Carbon GIA), with inputs and contributions from the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).  

The assessment of how alternative bunker fuels and energy converters feature in key IMO Conventions and regulatory instruments aims to inform and support IMO member States and the wider maritime sector in identifying and addressing potential regulatory challenges that could be encountered when considering the use of a particular alternative marine fuel. 

The outcome of the mapping exercise can be found on the GreenVoyage2050 website in a tabular format using a traffic light colour coding system that depicts the current regulatory readiness levels categorized as Low, Medium, and High. The categorisation was agreed by members of the Alternative low- and zero-carbon fuels workstream of the Low Carbon GIA.  

Principal IMO Conventions examined included the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), the International Bulk Chemical Code (IBC Code), the International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low-flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code) and the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk (IGC Code).  

Fuels and energy sources considered included the conventional fuels diesel/gas oil/fuel oil, bio/synthetic liquid diesel fuels, methanol, ethanol, dimethyl ether (DME), propane/butane (LPG), methane (LNG), ethane, ammonia and hydrogen. 

This mapping exercise has identified some areas where further regulatory work may be required by IMO, but potentially also by other standardisation and certification organisations. Some of these areas include the further development of safety guidelines for on-board use of alternative fuels, matters related to quality of alternative fuels, lifecycle GHG emissions and development of engine standards and assessing the possible impacts and risks of spills of alternative marine fuels.  

The Low Carbon GIA, which brings together leading shipowners and operators, classification societies, engine and technology builders and suppliers, big data providers, oil companies and ports,  recognizes that IMO has already initiated concrete work to address a number of these matters, whereas some others require concrete proposals to advance discussions in the different IMO bodies.  

It should be noted that the identification of a low regulatory readiness level for a particular fuel does not necessarily indicate a potential barrier for the uptake of the fuel, but simply identifies scope for future work to be done by IMO and other stakeholders as appropriate. 

Tore Longva, Lead of the Low Carbon GIA Alternative low- and zero-carbon fuels Workstream said: “Under this workstream, Low Carbon GIA members from across the industry have contributed their expertise to undertake several activities to-date to support the adoption of alternative fuels for low carbon shipping. This regulatory status assessment with respect to the use of alternative fuels represents a crucial piece of work undertaken by the Low Carbon GIA to support IMO Member States in identifying potential regulatory gaps which will need to be closed in the future.” 

In the context of the recently launched Future fuels and technology for low- and zero-carbon shipping Project (FFT Project), IMO is addressing a number of the identified regulatory gaps in support of discussions in IMO’s regulatory committees.  

The Low Carbon GIA is a public-private partnership that operates under the framework of the GreenVoyage2050 Project. The aim of the Low Carbon GIA is to develop innovative solutions to address common barriers to decarbonizing the shipping sector. 

 

Photo credit: GreenVoyage2050
Published: 13 March, 2023

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Methanol

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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LNG Bunkering

Gasum and Equinor ink continuation of long-term LNG bunkering agreement

Agreement builds on the success of the previous contract Gasum has had with Equinor; Gasum’s bunker vessels “Coralius”, “Kairos” and “Coral Energy” will be used for the bunkering operations.

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Gasum and Equinor ink continuation of long-term LNG bunkering agreement

Nordic liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker supplier Gasum on Tuesday (28 May) said it signed a long-term contract with Norway-based global energy company Equinor whereby Gasum continues to supply LNG to Equinor’s dual-fuel chartered fleet of vessels. 

The agreement builds on the success of the previous contract Gasum has had with Equinor. Gasum’s bunker vessels Coralius, Kairos and Coral Energy will be used for the bunkering operations.

The agreement also includes additional support services such as cooling down and gassing up, which has also been a part of Gasum’s previous collaboration with Equinor. 

Gasum has organised three separate LNG cool down operations for Equinor in Skagen so far this year.

Both Gasum and Equinor have committed to sustainability goals to enable a cleaner energy future. Equinor’s ambition is to become a net-zero emissions energy company by 2050.

Using LNG in maritime transport means complete removal of sulfur oxides (SOx) and particles, and reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions of up to 85 percent as well as a reduction in CO2 emissions by at least 20%. LNG is interchangeable with liquefied biogas (LBG/bio-LNG), which reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 90% compared to conventional fuel such as marine gasoil (MGO).

With LNG and bio-LNG the maritime industry can reduce emissions already today, instead of waiting for future solutions. Gasum’s strategic goal is to bring yearly seven terawatt hours (7 TWh) of renewable gas to market by 2027. Achieving this goal would mean combined carbon dioxide reduction of 1.8 million tons per year for Gasum’s customers.

Related: Equinor Energy AS extends LNG bunkering agreement with Gasum
Related: Gasum expands LNG bunkering business to ARA region through partnership with Equinor

 

Photo credit: Gasum
Published: 29 May 2024

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Methanol

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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