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Methanol Institute: Methanol bunkering at Singapore port to become increasingly common from 2024

‘With clear policy moving forward, we expect there will both be a larger number of methanol-fuelled newbuilds and retrofits coming and more projects for methanol production of all specification,’ states Chris Chatterton.

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Chris Chatterton

Recent milestones at the world’s largest bunkering port will likely lead to local methanol bunkering operations becoming increasingly commonplace in the coming year, forecasts the Chief Operating Officer of global methanol industry trade association Methanol Institute (MI).

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on 14 December issued an Expression of Interest (EOI) inviting parties interested in supplying methanol as a bunker fuel in the Port of Singapore to submit their proposals by the end of February 2024.

“We applaud MPA’s recent release on its methanol bunkering EOI and are ready to further support the port authority’s initiative to help the international shipping community decarbonise,” Chris Chatterton told bunkering publication Manifold Times.

Chatterton notes MI has been working closely with the Singapore branch of the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) and Singapore Polytechnic to educate the local maritime community on safe handling of the product.

Singapore’s transition towards methanol bunkering is supported by recent orders for methanol-capable bunker tankers from Singapore bunker suppliers; namely Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services and Global Energy Trading.

Golden Island Diesel Oil Trading, which has finished the design phase for its methanol bunkering tanker, earlier told Manifold Times it will be starting bonded methanol bunkering operations at the republic in 2026.

Latest figures from DNV’s Alternative Fuels Insight (AFI) platform in October confirmed a total 230 methanol-powered vessels, mostly containerships, on order at yards.

Chatterton, who noted AFI figures not including an estimated 100 unannounced methanol vessel engine retrofit projects, was confident these vessels will be fuelled by 100% green (carbon neutral) methanol in time to come.

“We understand many shipowners are looking to source green methanol for the transition to carbon neutrality and understand the product is not readily available for mass market production yet,” he said.

“However, this is to be expected as green methanol is an emerging market. The shipping industry has spoken, and the methanol industry will deliver as huge demand is there.

“At MI, we see many projects being developed to product green methanol and we continue to stand behind our estimates of 8 million metric tonnes (mt) per annum of production by 2027 to support these vessels.

“With clear policy moving forward, we expect there will both be a larger number of methanol-fuelled newbuilds and retrofits coming and more projects for methanol production of all specification. Very likely, when green methanol comes into the market, players will be blending conventional methanol with green methanol to achieve compliance while remaining competitive.”

MI, which published the first comprehensive guide to methanol as a marine fuel, is meanwhile working closely with MPA on two green corridors; namely the Silk Alliance Singapore green corridor cluster initiative and the Rotterdam-Singapore Green & Digital Shipping Corridor, according to Desmond Loo, Business Development, Manager, MI.

“Recently, MPA signed a MOU with China’s Tianjin Municipal Transportation Commission to establish the Singapore – Tianjin Green and Digital Shipping Corridor,” adds Mr Loo.

“MI also plays an active role in China, the top producer and consumer of methanol in the world, and we are also looking forward to working with the stakeholders to introduce methanol bunkering the region.”

Related: MPA issues EOI seeking for methanol bunker fuel suppliers in Singapore
Related: Singapore: Equatorial Marine Fuel builds four “new generation” methanol-ready bunker tankers
Related: Singapore gets its first dedicated methanol bunkering tanker “MT MAPLE”
Related: Singapore: Golden Island Diesel Oil Trading to start methanol bunkering operations at republic by 2026
Related: DNV: Methanol-fuelled order trend continues, with first ammonia DF newbuilding contracts recorded in Oct
Related: Methanol Institute publishes first comprehensive guide to methanol as bunker fuel
Related: Methanol Institute, partners join Silk Alliance Singapore green corridor cluster initiative
Related: Partners in Rotterdam-Singapore Green & Digital Shipping Corridor support emission reductions
Related: Singapore, Tianjin to pilot and trial alternative bunker fuels following shipping corridor MoU

Photo credit: Methanol Institute
Published: 20 December 2023

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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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