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Methanol Institute: Driving innovation and sustainability in maritime fuel (Week 21, 20-26 May 2024)

Industry leaders advance methanol adoption through new vessel technologies, strategic partnerships, and groundbreaking research, promoting sustainable maritime practices.




RESIZED 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:

As orders continue to be placed for methanol dual fuel ships, more new tonnage is hitting the water to support efforts by vessel operators to reduce their carbon emissions and promote sustainable shipping practices. Behind the scenes, work continues on the technology that will drive broader take up of methanol as fuel, with engine platforms and fuel supply systems as well as new methods of e-methanol production. 

Methanol marine fuel related developments for Week 21 of 2024:

Singapore's X-Press Feeders Receives Methanol Dual-Fuel Vessel

Date: May 20, 2024

Key Points: Singapore-based X-Press Feeders has received its first dual-fuel vessel built by Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings. This vessel, capable of running on green methanol, marks a significant advance in sustainable shipping for the company. Departing from Shanghai to Rotterdam via Singapore, it will be part of Europe’s first feeder containership network powered by green methanol starting in Q3 2024. X-Press Feeders has 14 more dual-fuel vessels on order, set for delivery from 2024 to mid-2026, enhancing their fleet's capacity and sustainability efforts.

Headway and DMD Achieve Key Milestones for China's First Methanol Dual-Fuel Marine Engine

Date: May 27, 2024

Key Points: Dalian Marine Diesel (DMD) has achieved significant milestones in the development of China's first methanol dual-fuel marine main engine, completing tests on a methanol dual-fuel platform. The methanol fuel supply system, developed by Headway Technology Group, passed performance and safety tests. This marks a pivotal step in China's marine power equipment sector and highlights Headway's role in advancing low-carbon shipping solutions. Headway plans to continue collaborating with DMD and global partners to provide efficient alternative energy options for ships, promoting decarbonization and sustainable development in the shipping industry. 

Alfa Laval Methanol Fuel Supply System Surpasses 100 Orders

Date: May 23, 2024

Key Points: Alfa Laval has surpassed 100 orders for its FCM Methanol low-flashpoint fuel supply system (LFSS), reflecting the growing adoption of methanol as a marine fuel. This milestone aligns with the increased newbuilding orders for methanol-capable vessels, which now total over 250 globally. Introduced in 2015, the success of FCM Methanol is attributed to partnerships with engine designers, shipyards, and shipowners. Alfa Laval continues to develop fuel treatment solutions to support the maritime industry's climate targets.

Ahti Pool: Alternative Fuels to Overtake Traditional Bunkers by 2040

Date: May 22, 2024

Key Points: Ahti CEO Risto Kariranta predicts that alternative fuels will surpass traditional bunkers by 2040, driven by FuelEU Maritime's incentives for low-carbon fuels. Methanol, as one of these alternatives, is expected to play a significant role due to its lower carbon intensity. Companies like AP Moller-Maersk, COSCO, Wallenius Wilhelmsen and Svitzer are investing in methanol-capable vessels, contributing to the shift towards alternative fuels. The study finds that one vessel operating in e-methanol using the pooling mechanism of FuelEU Maritime can make 75 HFO-fuelled vessels compliant. 

MHI and NGK Collaborate to Develop Membrane Dehydration Systems for Cost-Effective E-Methanol Production

Date: May 24, 2024

Key Points: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and NGK Insulators have announced a collaboration to develop membrane dehydration systems aimed at reducing the production costs of e-methanol. This initiative is part of a broader effort to optimize the efficiency of manufacturing processes for e-methanol, a next-generation clean marine fuel. The project is expected to meet the rising demand for clean fuels and raw materials as the shipping industry moves towards decarbonization.

Methanol-Fuelled Tanker "Stena Prosperous" Officially Named in Singapore

Date: May 24, 2024

Key Points: Proman Stena Bulk's methanol-fuelled tanker, "Stena Prosperous," was officially named during a ceremony at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre in Singapore. The 49,900 DWT vessel will use a 20/80 blend of green and conventional methanol, offering 31% CO2e savings compared to voyages using VLSFO. This vessel is the last of six in the joint venture's fleet, all of which are now in commercial operation, highlighting methanol's role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable shipping practices.


Photo credit: The Methanol Institute
Published: 31 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.





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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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.





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.





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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