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Methanol Institute: Breakthroughs and Strategic Moves in Sustainable Marine Fuels (Week 23, 3-9 June 2024)

This week, the maritime industry made pivotal advancements in methanol fuel technology, forged strategic partnerships, and achieved key regulatory milestones, highlighting a concerted effort toward greener marine operations.

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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:

More heavy hitters are getting behind the supply of methanol to marine customers as the demand for newbuildings continues to strengthen.

The ramp-up in biofuels provided by energy major ExxonMobil are expected to support the industry’s decarbonization process as owners place further orders, vessels hit the water and new bunkering operations are planned.

Methanol marine fuel related developments for Week 23 of 2024:

ExxonMobil Expands Marine Biofuels Offering for Shipping Industry
Date: June 4, 2024

Key Points: ExxonMobil is expanding its marine biofuels offering, actively engaging with multiple customers, including Hapag Lloyd and Wallenius Wilhelmsen. Recent deliveries from its Fawley refinery to several UK ports have demonstrated successful biofuel use without engine modifications. Biofuels are expected to play a significant role in the first phase of shipping's decarbonization, with a future shift towards methanol, ammonia, and hydrogen. ExxonMobil is exploring technologies and pathways to meet the industry's low-emission fuel needs.

DNV: Growing Demand for Methanol-Fueled Vessels Evident in May Newbuild Orders
Date: June 4, 2024

Key Points: DNV's recent data shows a significant increase in orders for methanol-fueled vessels, with 23 out of 33 new orders in May being methanol-powered. This trend highlights the maritime industry’s growing appetite for methanol as a viable alternative fuel, driven by its lower emissions and alignment with decarbonization goals. Methanol's role is increasingly pivotal as the shipping sector seeks sustainable and compliant fuel options to meet future environmental regulations.

NKT Orders Methanol-Powered Cable-Laying Vessel
Date: June 5, 2024

Key Points: NKT has ordered a 176-meter dual-fuel cable-laying vessel, the NKT Eleonora, capable of running on methanol, HVO, and MDO. Scheduled for operation in 2027, this vessel reflects NKT's commitment to sustainability and enhancing installation capacity. The decision to build a methanol-fueled vessel aligns with NKT’s strategic goal of providing greener power cable solutions, supporting the industry's shift towards environmentally friendly fuels.

Hagland Shipping Orders Methanol-Convertible Bulk Carriers
Date: June 5, 2024

Key Points: Hagland Shipping has ordered four 5,000 DWT dry bulk carriers from Dutch shipyard Royal Bodewes. These vessels are designed to be easily converted to methanol propulsion in the future, reducing CO2 emissions by 40-50% and NOx emissions by 90-95% compared to the oldest ships in their fleet. The first ship is expected to be delivered by the end of 2025, enhancing Hagland's commitment to sustainability and emission reduction in Northern Europe and the Baltic region.

Headway Technology Group Opens New Office in Greece
Date: June 6, 2024

Key Points: Headway Technology Group (Qingdao) Co., Ltd. has inaugurated a new office in Greece, coinciding with the first day of the Posidonia 2024 exhibition. This expansion aims to strengthen Headway's presence in the European low-carbon shipping sector, providing enhanced technical support and services. The new office will showcase Headway's methanol fuel supply systems and other green technologies, reinforcing their commitment to sustainable maritime solutions and supporting the global shift towards low-emission shipping practices.

Vopak Partners to Establish Green Methanol Bu Methanol Bunkering in China
Date: June 6, 2024

Key Points: Vopak has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the vice mayor of Tianjin to develop a green methanol bunkering operation in Northern China's Tianjin port. This initiative aims to repurpose existing infrastructure for new energy projects, positioning Tianjin as a crucial logistics hub for green methanol development. The partnership with Tianjin Port Group underscores Vopak's commitment to supporting sustainable maritime fuels and contributing to the global energy transition.

New Methanol-Ready Fallpipe Vessel Named "Yellowstone"
Date: June 7, 2024

Key Points: DEME Group's new fallpipe vessel, the 37,000 DWT "Yellowstone," has been officially named in a ceremony held in Zeebrugge, Belgium. The vessel, designed for future conversion to methanol dual-fuel propulsion, features a hybrid power plant with a 1 MWh Li-ion battery. The naming ceremony, attended by Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid, underscores DEME's commitment to innovation and sustainability in marine operations.

 

Photo credit: The Methanol Institute
Published: 14 June 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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