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LR: Technology readiness for zero carbon bunker fuels is increasing, but barriers to adopt remain

LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub identified that while technology readiness across supply chains for key alternative marine fuels, barriers for investment and community readiness to adopt them remain significant.

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Classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR) on Thursday (12 October) said its Maritime Decarbonisation Hub’s October 2023 has released an update of the Zero Carbon Fuel Monitor, which tracks technology, investment and community readiness of prominent alternative bunker fuels for the maritime energy transition.

The hub identified that while technology readiness across supply chains for key alternative marine fuels, barriers for investment and community readiness to adopt them remain significant.

Amelia Hipwell, Decarbonisation Innovation Manager, LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub, said: “Shipping’s transition to zero carbon fuels cannot be achieved through individual action or in isolation, and requires cross-sector collaboration, transparency and knowledge-sharing across the shipping industry.”

“Although technology readiness across the supply chain is increasing for key candidate fuels, significant barriers to adoption remain in terms of investment and community readiness. Hence the need for collective action across stakeholders in the industry to drive forward the transition.”

The hub added that technology progress across fuel supply chains is evident, especially for ammonia and green hydrogen.

Significant milestones have been achieved for ammonia in 2023, with WinGD's two stroke ammonia engine having received LR approval in principle as well as MAN Energy Solutions’ (MAN ES) successful completion of the first test engine running on ammonia. Green hydrogen production is also on the rise, and a bunkering license has now been granted in the Netherlands.

Overall, there has been an increase in readiness levels scattered across the key fuels and their supply chain stages, notably ammonia, methanol and hydrogen. A key factor is the success of government strategies for decarbonisation in driving land-side infrastructure expansion. 

These investments and support at government level have the potential to contribute to fuel availability, port infrastructure and regulatory advancements that will benefit shipping. There has been an increase in national hydrogen energy strategies worldwide, with major countries such as the UK, China and India actively investing in renewable energy and land-side hydrogen infrastructure.

However, for methane, concerns over methane slip are affecting technology readiness level (TRL). This challenge is being tackled by Safetytech Accelerator-led Methane Abatement in Maritime innovation initiative (MAMII) which is working to identify solutions and mechanisms for capturing, calculating and managing methane slip emissions, and best practices will be shared with industry to tackle this challenge. Additionally, community readiness levels (CRL) of methane and methanol production has been impacted by uncertainties around the scale-up of sustainably sourced carbon.

The Zero Carbon Fuel Monitor update also found that demand for biodiesel has increased, although long term availability of sustainable biofuel feedstock remains uncertain. Efforts to cultivate third-generation feedstocks (characterised by high yield and rapid growth rates) like macroalgae are underway, which can be used for advanced biofuels production. 

Given these assessments, the Monitor identified key priority areas to drive the transition forward. A foremost priority is to develop demand profiles to minimise investment risks and create commercially viable business cases for zero-emission shipping. Complementing this is sustainable resource scale-up to enable adequate fuel production for future demand.

Policy consistency across the value chain globally will be essential for attracting investments. Fostering research, development and educational initiatives will help to drive the safe and sustainable adoption of zero carbon fuels, whilst the pace of technology development must be accelerated to meet evolving industry needs.

The Zero Carbon Fuel Monitor online web tool, developed by the LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub, a joint initiative between Lloyd’s Register Group and Lloyd’s Register Foundation, is an insight-based assessment of fuels readiness that aims to provide the basis for effective decision making as the maritime sector navigates the journey to a decarbonised future.

Note: The Zero Carbon Fuel Monitor October 2023 Update report can be downloaded here.

Photo credit: Lloyd’s Register
Published: 13 October, 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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