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Methanol Institute: Advancements and partnerships driving sustainability (Week 17, 22-28 April 2024)

Industry continues to explore new vessel technologies, strategic partnerships, and innovative research advancing maritime sustainability through methanol.

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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:

With methanol as a fuel widely accepted by the shipping community as an alternative to fuel oil that can reduce carbon emissions and virtually eliminate air pollution, the focus is turning to logistics and supply. Growing production of renewable methanol is critical to building a supply base that can serve a larger proportion of dual fuel vessels across a stronger supply chain.

The addition of StormFisher to the MI membership is an important signal that momentum of renewable production is growing. Meanwhile at the point of delivery, new standards, guidance, training – and new markets – for methanol bunkering are a concrete illustration of the appetite of the shipping and marine sector’s desire to adopt methanol safely and efficiently.

Methanol marine fuel related developments for Week 17 of 2024:

StormFisher Hydrogen Ltd. Joins Methanol Institute as Latest Member

Date: April 22, 2024

Key Points: On April 22, the Methanol Institute announced StormFisher Hydrogen Ltd. as its latest member. StormFisher, a North American firm, specializes in producing clean hydrogen, e-methane, e-methanol, and green ammonia through electrolysis, contributing to local energy security and enabling export possibilities to Asia Pacific and European markets. Both CEOs expressed enthusiasm for the partnership, highlighting StormFisher’s role in advancing methanol as a sustainable solution for decarbonization in hard-to-abate sectors and shaping global clean energy policies.

Singapore Developing National Standards for Ammonia and Methanol Handling

Date: April 22, 2024

Key Points: Singapore is developing national standards for the safe handling of methanol and ammonia as bunker fuels. These efforts, spearheaded by the Maritime and Port Authority and Enterprise Singapore through the Singapore Standards Council, will cover safety operations, custody transfer, and crew training requirements. The initiative aims to support the maritime industry's transition to green energy, enhancing services in legal contracting, financing, and risk management. These standards are expected to be published next year, with contributions from industry stakeholders like MAN Energy addressing the need for consistent regulations.

ABS Publishes New Guide on Methanol Bunkering

Date: April 22, 2024

Key Points: ABS has released a new guide titled "Methanol Bunkering: Technical and Operational Advisory," addressing the unique challenges of methanol as a marine fuel. This guide provides insights and strategies for safe methanol bunkering, leveraging ABS’s experience with methanol-fueled vessels and ongoing projects. It is designed to aid shipowners, operators, and shipyards with operational, design, and training aspects of methanol use. The guide is freely available and aims to support the maritime industry’s safe transition to methanol fuel. You can access it here.

Methanol Bunkering Expands to Yacht Sector

Date: April 23, 2024

Key Points: Yachts are poised to adopt methanol as an alternative bunker fuel. Bureau Veritas has given preliminary approval to Feadship, a shipyard company, to develop methanol-fueled yachts. This endorsement, highlighted by Dubravka Zaja of Bureau Veritas on LinkedIn, reflects the growing popularity of methanol in maritime sectors, particularly after its adoption in the container segment. The challenge now is scaling up the supply of green methanol to meet the demand from new methanol-powered vessels across various shipping sectors.

Peninsula Introduces Biofuel Bunkering Vessel to Barcelona Operations

Date: April 24, 2024

Key Points: Peninsula, a global marine fuel supplier, has enhanced its Barcelona operations by adding the IMO II chemical tanker Aalborg, capable of handling up to 100% biofuel blends. This addition enables the blending of various biofeedstocks and conventional fuels onboard, supporting the Port of Barcelona's commitment to decarbonization and compliance with EU regulations. This move aligns with the port's Energy Transition Plan, promoting alternative fuels like LNG, green methanol, and green ammonia to reduce the maritime sector's carbon footprint. 

Maersk and Green Marine's New Collaboration Targets Leadership in Alt-Bunker Fuels Training

Date: April 24, 2024

Key Points: Maersk Training and Green Marine have partnered to form "Maersk Training powered by Green Marine," aiming to lead in training for alternative bunker fuels amid growing demand. Initially focusing on methanol, this collaboration combines Green Marine's methanol expertise with Maersk's extensive training capabilities. The initiative will offer a range of training methods including simulations, online courses, and instructor-led classes, addressing the urgent need for decarbonization skills in the maritime industry.

Battery-Powered Ferries to Service UK-Continental Routes by 2030

Date: April 25, 2024

Key Points: DFDS, a ferry operator, is advancing its commitment to greener transportation by planning to launch six battery-powered ferries on UK-Continental routes, including vessels fueled by methanol, ammonia, and electricity. The first two battery-powered ships are expected to begin operations on the Eastern Channel by 2030. This initiative is part of a broader strategy to decarbonize cross-Channel transportation, involving cooperation with ports and government bodies on both sides of the Channel. DFDS currently operates 12 routes connecting the UK with various Continental ports.

MPCC Secures Green Financing for Methanol-Powered Newbuilds

Date: April 25, 2024

Key Points: Norway’s MPC Container Ships ASA (MPCC) has successfully arranged Sustainable Finance for two dual-fuel methanol-powered vessels, scheduled for delivery later this year. The $55 million financing agreement was made with Deutsche Bank and SINOSURE. Although green methanol supply is currently limited, these vessels qualify for Sustainable Finance due to their capability to operate on green methanol, aligning with Deutsche Bank's Sustainable Finance Framework criteria. The vessels, each costing $39 million, were ordered from Taizhou Sanfu Ship Engineering in China. The loan is set to mature in 2036.

 

Photo credit: The Methanol Institute
Published: 3 May 2024

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Alternative Fuels

MMMCZCS publishes report on preparing tanker vessels for conversion to green bunker fuels

Converting tankers to green fuels can be technically and economically feasible when carefully considered in the context of fleet transition planning and asset age profiles, says MMMCZCS.

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MMMCZCS publishes report on preparing tanker vessels for conversion to green bunker fuels

The Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping (MMMCZCS) recently released its latest publication that sheds light on the technical, economic and environmental impact of preparing tanker vessels for conversion to alternative bunker fuels.

The publication titled ‘Preparing Tanker Vessels for Conversion to Green Fuels’ aims to understand the technical requirements and cost of converting from fuel oil to methanol or ammonia and from liquefied natural gas (LNG) to ammonia.

The publication outlined the project results related to converting tanker vessels to methanol or ammonia fuels.

“To decarbonise the global shipping industry, the world fleet needs to transition to using alternative fuels,” it said.

“However, shipowners are met with a big scope of challenges as they build their decarbonization strategies and determine how to most effectively time their investments in alternative fuel and technologies.”

The report considered reference designs for two types of tanker vessels: LR2 and VLCC. 

These vessel types are two of the largest in the tanker segment, often travel long routes, and have a high fuel consumption ― therefore, they can provide a good illustration of the economic and environmental impacts of different choices relating to vessel conversion. 

For each vessel design, the center defined five levels of preparation for alternative fuels, ranging from no preparation (Level 0) to a dual-fuel newbuild ready to operate on methanol or ammonia (Level 4).

For the LR2 design, the center’s model indicated that the total add-on cost of newbuilding and conversion to operation on methanol or ammonia, depending on preparation level and range, is:

  • 14-27% of the cost of a standard fuel oil newbuild for fuel oil-methanol conversions
  • 25-42% of the cost of a standard fuel oil newbuild for fuel oil-ammonia conversions
  • 47-62% of the cost of a standard fuel oil newbuild (or 21-34% of the cost of an LNG newbuild) for LNG‑ammonia conversions

 The main takeaways from its publication are:

  • Converting tankers to green fuels is technically and economically feasible with careful fleet transition planning and consideration of asset age. The industry possesses the necessary technology and engineering expertise for these conversions.
  • The economic impact of conversions varies based on the chosen green fuel and vessel range.
  • Conversion to alternative fuels affects a vessel’s operating envelope due to differences in energy density and fuel tank size requirements.
  • To maintain the same operational range as fossil fuels, shipowners may need to add tanks on deck (impacting DWT) or sacrifice part of the cargo capacity for fuel tanks.
  • This project focuses on options that reduce the vessel’s operating range but preserve its cargo capacity. Such solutions are believed to have commercial applicability based on industry knowledge.
  • Conversions after ten years of operation on fossil fuels can still considerably reduce a vessel's lifetime greenhouse gas emissions, though financial viability of conversions at this stage of the vessel’s lifetime must be considered.

Note: The full report by MMMCZCS can be viewed here.

 

Photo credit: Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping
Published: 23 July 2024

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Newbuilding

Steel cutting begins on Fratelli Cosulich methanol dual-fuel bunker tanker

Ceremony was held at Taizhou Maple Leaf Shipbuilding for the 7,990 dwt IMO Type II chemical vessel that will operate in Singapore; vessel will be able to carry both green methanol and biofuels.

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Steel cutting begins on Fratelli Cosulich methanol dual-fuel bunker tanker

Genoa-based international shipping and logistics company Fratelli Cosulich Group on Friday (19 July) said a steel cutting ceremony was held at Taizhou Maple Leaf Shipbuilding for its methanol dual-fuelled bunker tanker.

The 7,990 dwt IMO Type II chemical vessel has a capacity of over 8,000 m3 and will be able to carry both green methanol and biofuels. It will be equipped with three MAN GenSets designed for running on methanol.

The four-stroke engines will be part of a diesel-electric propulsion system, while an onboard battery storage system will optimize fuel consumption and reduce GHG emissions.

The vessel is scheduled for delivery during the last quarter of 2025 and will be located at the Port of Singapore under a contract with global commodities trader Trafigura.

“With the steel cutting of this state of the art bunkering vessel, we mark an additional important step in our Group’s journey to decarbonization”, said Guido Cardullo, Head of Marine Energy.

Manifold Times previously reported Fratelli Cosulich placing an order for its first methanol dual-fuelled chemical bunker tanker on 15 December which will operate in Singapore.

It will be deployed to deliver marine fuels for TFG Marine, Trafigura’s international marine fuel supply and procurement joint venture with shipowning companies Frontline Ltd and Golden Ocean Group Ltd.

Fratelli Cosulich Bunkers Singapore will oversee the technical management and operations of the vessel for TFG Marine. 

Related: Fratelli Cosulich orders its first methanol dual-fuelled bunker tanker to serve Singapore
Related: Fratelli Cosulich orders two methanol-ready chemical bunker tankers
Related: China: Headway to provide methanol fuel supply systems to Fujian Guohang and Fratelli Cosulich

 

Photo credit: Fratelli Cosulich
Published: 22 July 2024

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Alternative Fuels

Lhyfe and Elyse Energy plan to produce e-methanol bunker fuel from green hydrogen

Partners signed agreement for technical, economic, financial and regulatory feasibility study of a project to produce e-methanol from green hydrogen at this site within the port of Nantes Saint-Nazaire.

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Lhyfe and Elyse Energy plan to produce e-methanol bunker fuel from green hydrogen

Green and renewable hydrogen producer and supplier Lhyfe on Wednesday (17 July) announced a partnership with Elyse Energy, a pioneer in the production of low-carbon molecules. 

The partners aimed to develop the production of e-methanol from green hydrogen, at the Loire Estuary’s industrial and logistics port ecosystem.

In November 2023, Lhyfe was selected as the winner of a call for expression of interest (CEI) launched in late 2022 by the Nantes Saint-Nazaire port authority (Grand Port Maritime de Nantes Saint-Nazaire), to set up an industrial green hydrogen production and distribution operation at the Montoir-de-Bretagne site, with a view to decarbonising maritime transport.

With this objective in mind, Lhyfe and Elyse Energy, a producer of low-carbon molecules, announced that they have signed an exclusive agreement for the technical, economic, financial and regulatory feasibility study of a project to produce e-methanol from green hydrogen at this site within the port of Nantes Saint-Nazaire. This is the first collaboration of this kind for either of these two French industrial SMEs.

“E-methanol is a clean fuel that can be used to decarbonise maritime transport, which represents a key industrial and technological challenge for achieving the dual objectives of carbon neutrality and moving away from fossil fuels,” Lhyfe said. 

Implementation of the project will be subject to the conclusions of this study, the granting of operating licences and building permits, and financial investment decisions.

A presentation of the project by the partners is scheduled for September 2024.

 

Photo credit: Lhyfe
Published: 22 July 2024

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