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MAN ES to develop methanol retrofit solutions for medium-speed marine engines

Development is part of research project CliNeR-ECo which aims to develop concepts for medium-speed marine engines that will enable retrofitting of ship fleets at reasonable economic and technical costs.

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MAN Energy Solutions on Wednesday (19 July) announced that it will begin developing retrofit solutions for medium-speed marine engines as part of a research association including WTZ Roßlau gGmbh and TU-Darmstadt. 

The three-year research project, CliNeR-ECo, is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) with initial work having already commenced at the beginning of 2023.

CliNeR-ECo aims to develop concepts for diverse, medium-speed, marine engines that will enable the retrofitting of entire ship fleets at reasonable economic and technical costs. The project is focusing on the climate-neutral fuel, methanol, which is produced from green hydrogen with the intention being that results should quickly spawn other developmental projects for series production.

In this respect, MAN Energy Solutions is currently planning a first retrofit project based on an MAN 48/60 engine; the first retrofit of a fully functional test engine is scheduled to reach the testbed in 2024.

With these maritime retrofit technologies, ship owners will be offered solutions that enable their existing fleets to comply with future emission targets for greenhouse gases. These will be introduced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the EU in increasingly stringent stages from 2025 onwards in order to ultimately realise climate-neutral maritime shipping.

Dr Alexander Knafl, Head of R&D Four-Stroke Engines at MAN Energy Solutions in Augsburg, said: “MAN Energy Solutions is pursuing this project in close alignment with its own strategy for developing sustainable technologies and welcomes the opportunity to work with external research partners. For us, the path to the decarbonisation of the maritime economy begins with the switch to climate-neutral fuels. In this context, methanol is an excellent candidate as it is climate-neutral when produced from green hydrogen.”

Christian Kunkel, Head of Combustion Development, R&D Four-Stroke Engines at MAN Energy Solutions, added: “Electrification of the maritime industry is only possible in niche segments but not in so-called ‘long-distance shipping’. Energy sources such as carbon-neutral methanol and ammonia will therefore play a prominent role in the maritime sector in the future.”

“Methanol is an ideal fuel for converting engines on existing ships and methanol tanks can usually be integrated into existing ship designs without too much trouble, while engine conversion costs can be kept within reasonable limits. Thus, with climate-neutral methanol production, the climate effect of the maritime industry can be improved very quickly while dispensing with the need for newbuilding construction. This is a crucial point as ship lifespans can last several decades in some cases and newbuildings demand a lot of resources.”

Dr Christian Reiser, CEO of WTZ Roßlau gGmbH, said: “Together with our partners, we are pleased to launch this ambitious project for CO2 reduction in shipping. The development of a retrofit-capable, methanol-combustion process presents us with exciting challenges, which we will solve together in this strong alliance.”

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Hasse, Head of the Department of Simulation of Reactive Thermo-Fluid Systems at TU Darmstadt, said, “Carbon-neutral and carbon-free fuels play a prominent role in our current research with methanol as a fuel for retrofitting marine engines playing a special role. The investigation of mixtures is, scientifically, highly exciting and directly related to the technical solution we will eventually develop. Ultimately, we will gain new insights into the dynamics of flow, injection and their interaction with the combustion chamber walls by combining high-resolution simulations and optical measurement techniques. This transfer of basic research into practical application is a strength of engineering research.”

Project partner roles

WTZ Roßlau gGmbH is a specialist in the field of energy conversion and will use a medium-speed test engine to develop combustion-process strategies for the retrofit concepts. This will be done in close cooperation with MAN Energy Solutions and will also form the basis for defining requirements for exhaust-gas aftertreatment.

The Technical University of Darmstadt will use a flow bench to work out the fundamentals of methanol mixtures in engines at its ‘Reactive Flows and Measurement Technology’ and ‘Simulation of Reactive Thermo-Fluid Systems’ departments. Together with MAN Energy Solutions, it will also develop the CFD simulation models required for adapting the technology to different engine sizes.

MAN Energy Solutions will transfer the retrofit concepts developed to large-volume four-stroke engines and prepare commercial development and production.

 

Photo credit: MAN Energy Solutions
Published: 21 July, 2023

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Mitsubishi Shipbuilding receives orders for Japan’s first methanol-fuelled RoRo cargo ship duo

Two ships will be built at the Enoura Plant of MHI’s Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Yamaguchi Prefecture, with scheduled completion and delivery by the end of fiscal 2027.

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Mitsubishi Shipbuilding receives orders for Japan's first methanol-fuelled RoRo cargo ship duo

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group, on Wednesday (19 June) said it has received orders from Toyofuji Shipping and Fukuju Shipping for Japan's first methanol-fueled roll-on/roll-off (RORO) cargo ships. 

The two ships will be built at the Enoura Plant of MHI's Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Yamaguchi Prefecture, with scheduled completion and delivery by the end of fiscal 2027.

The ships will be approximately 169.9 meters in overall length and 30.2 meters in breadth, with 15,750 gross tonnage, and loading capacity for around 2,300 passenger vehicles.

A windscreen at the bow and a vertical stem are used to reduce propulsion resistance, while fuel efficiency is improved by employing MHI's proprietary energy-saving system technology combing high-efficiency propellers and high-performance rudders with reduced resistance. 

The main engine is a high-performance dual-fuel engine that can use both methanol and A heavy fuel oil, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 10% compared to ships with the same hull and powered by fuel oil, contributing to a reduced environmental impact. 

In the future, the use of green methanol(2) may lead to further reduction in CO2 emissions, including throughout the lifecycle of the fuel. Methanol-fueled RORO ships have already entered into service as ocean-going vessels around the world, but this is the first construction of coastal vessels for service in Japan.

In addition, the significant increase in vehicle loading capacity and transport capacity per voyage compared to conventional vessels will provide greater leeway in the ship allocation schedule, securing more holiday and rest time for the crew, thereby contributing to working style reforms.

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, to address the growing needs from the modal shift in marine transport against the backdrop of CO2 reductions in land transportation, labor shortages, and working style reforms, will continue to work with its business partners to provide solutions for a range of societal issues by building ferries and RORO vessels with excellent fuel efficiency and environmental performance that contribute to stable navigation for customers.

 

Photo credit: Mitsubishi Shipbuilding
Published: 20 June, 2024

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Maersk and Nike to christen methanol-fuelled boxship at Port of Los Angeles in August

Powered by methanol for its maiden voyage and capable of carrying more than 16,000 containers, the vessel will get its new name at a private ceremony at Port of Los Angeles Outer Harbor.

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Maersk

A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk) on Wednesday (19 June) said it will be christening one of the world’s first methanol-enabled vessels when it arrives in Los Angeles this August.

The firm invited the public to go aboard the container ship in Los Angeles.

Powered by methanol for its maiden voyage and capable of carrying more than 16,000 containers (TEU), the vessel will get its new name at a private ceremony at the Port of Los Angeles Outer Harbor on Tuesday, August 27. 

Maersk’s CEO Vincent Clerc will be on hand, alongside special guest speakers from Nike and leading state and local officials. Nike is a partner in the name-giving event.

“Nike is committed to protecting the future of sport and we leverage science-based targets to guide us through our Move to Zero journey,” said Venkatesh Alagirisamy, Nike Chief Supply Chain Officer.

“Operating one of the largest supply chains in the world, we have a responsibility to advance the innovation and use of more sustainable methods that get us closer to zero carbon and zero waste. By working with suppliers like Maersk, who share our commitment to sustainability, we are scaling our use of biofuels in ocean transportation, our main first-mile delivery channel.”

“This event is not only an opportunity to celebrate a remarkable engineering achievement, but the chance to highlight that we can navigate towards more sustainable supply chains if we work together,” said Charles van der Steene, Regional President for Maersk North America.

On Wednesday, August 28, Maersk invites the public to tour the 350-meter-long vessel, which will be sailing from Asia. Visitors will be able to see the Sailors’ living quarters and even stand on the bridge from where the captain controls the vessel. Public tours will require visitors register for a free ticket via an online registration site that will be activated and announced in August.

This is the fifth container vessel in Maersk’s fleet that can sail on green methanol bunker fuel.

 

Photo credit: A.P. Moller – Maersk
Published: 20 June, 2024

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Methanol

Methanol Institute: Innovative developments and strategic collaborations (Week 24, 10-16 June 2024)

This week highlights notable advancements in methanol fuel technology, strategic partnerships, and industry analyses, underscoring the maritime sector’s ongoing commitment to sustainable fuel solutions.

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Methanol Institute logo

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:

The past week saw further additions to the potential capacity for production of methanol with announcement of a new facility using waste biomass to create biomethanol for the maritime market. Elsewhere, plans for additional port storage was announced at key ports in China. Finally, analysis by Ship & bunker shows that almost half of the bunker capacity represented by the newbuilding orderbook will be powered by alternative fuels.

Methanol marine fuel related developments for Week 24 of 2024:

Norway to Develop Bio-e-Methanol Production Facility

Date: June 10, 2024

Key Points: Glocal Green and Norwegian Hydrogen are partnering to build a bio-e-methanol plant in Øyer, Gudbrandsdalen, Norway. The facility will produce 10,000 metric tonnes of bio-e-methanol annually, using hydrogen and CO2 from bio-waste and wood waste. The project aims to support the maritime sector's transition to green fuels, leveraging local renewable resources to create sustainable methanol, thus contributing to Norway's environmental goals and the broader global push for cleaner energy solutions.

Green Marine Fuels and Vopak Collaborate on Green Methanol Storage Facilities

Date: June 12, 2024

Key Points: Green Marine Fuels Trading and Vopak have announced a strategic partnership to develop green methanol storage facilities at key ports, including Shanghai Caojing and Tianjin Lingang in China. This collaboration aims to expand the infrastructure needed to support the growing demand for green methanol as a sustainable marine fuel. The facilities will enhance the supply chain for green methanol, aligning with global efforts to decarbonize the shipping industry and promote the use of alternative fuels.

Global Orderbook Analysis: Conventional vs. Alternative Bunker Fuel Demand

Date: June 13, 2024

Key Points: An analysis of the global newbuilding orderbook, conducted by Ship and Bunker, reveals that of a total 33.8 million tonnes (mt) of bunker demand, alternative fuelled ships represent 46% or 15.6mt of bunker demand.

Methanol accounts for 3.2 mt (10%) compared to 10.5mt (31%) for LNG, a figure skewed by the vast orderbook for LNG carriers which partly use their cargo as fuel.

The data from DNV Alternative Fuels Insight indicates a significant shift towards alternative fuels, driven by containerships and LNG carriers, reflecting the maritime industry's continuing focus on reducing carbon emissions and adopting greener fuel options.

 

Photo credit: Methanol Institute
Published: 20 June, 2024

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