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Methanol Institute: Methanol makes major headway in China (Week 14, 1-7 April 2024)

Two-thirds, or approximately 5 million mtpa, of all global carbon neutral methanol coming online in 2025 will be from China.

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Chris Chatterton, Chief Operating Officer of 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:

Newbuilding orders for methanol and ammonia-fuelled vessels continue to overtake placements for LNG-powered ships in February, records a recent DNV survey. This trend says it all for us at The Methanol Institute (MI), that the material is the future bunker fuel of choice chosen by the shipping sector.

Past week, we saw several events implying the above from several members. In Europe, the number of methanol bunkering ports soon be increased by six.

In Asia, two big firms namely HMM and SIPG have agreed to roll out methanol bunkering at Shanghai port. But that is not all happening over in the East; perhaps the mother of all methanol adoption activities took place in China where the world's first methanol bunker fuel trading platform was created at the Lin-gang Special Area Administration.

Chinese renewable power equipment is considerably less costly, up to a factor of five times, that of North American or European renewable power equipment suppliers. This means China has some very real competitive advantage over production costs for green hydrogen and hydrogen derivatives such as ammonia and methanol.

Considerable “renewable power coupling” (solar and wind) is taking place in China, which extends the efficiency and capacity factors for Chinese e-fuels, ensuring high level of competitiveness.

China’s strong G2G and policy support for “technology neutral” support, renewable power buildup and CCU technology allow it to secure strong, international trading partners, across the value chain.

Two-thirds, or approximately 5 million mtpa, of all global carbon neutral methanol coming online in 2025 will be from China.

Methanol marine fuel related developments for Week 14 of 2024:

X-Press Feeders Signs Green Shipping Corridor Agreements With Six European Ports

Date: April 5, 2024

Key points: X-Press Feeders has entered into agreements with six European ports (Antwerp-Bruges, Tallinn, Helsinki, HaminaKotka, Riga, and Klaipeda) to enhance the infrastructure for alternative fuel provision, specifically green methanol. These agreements aim to develop the supply chains for low-emission fuels, offer training for handling these fuels, and use digital platforms to optimize port operations. This initiative underlines the shipping industry's move towards renewable energy sources.

Methanol and Ammonia Both Outpaced LNG-Fuelled Ship Orders in March

Date: April 5, 2024

Key points: March witnessed a noteworthy trend in ship orders, with methanol and ammonia-fuelled ships outnumbering LNG-fuelled ones. Two ships ordered in March are to run on methanol, matching the number for ammonia, while only one order was placed for an LNG-fuelled ship. This development signals the shipping industry's growing interest in alternative fuels, with methanol being a key focus. The first quarter of the year saw a significant increase in orders for ships capable of running on alternative fuels compared to the same period last year.

HMM and SIPG ink MoU for methanol and LNG bunkering in Shanghai Port

Date: April 4, 2024

Key Points: HMM, a Korea-based integrated logistics company, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) to collaborate on the supply of clean marine fuel, specifically focusing on methanol and LNG at Shanghai Port. HMM aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and is expanding its sustainable eco supply chain networks. The company has also signed contracts for methanol-powered vessels and plans to operate LNG-powered vessels by the end of the year.

“Ane Maersk” completes its first methanol bunkering op in European waters

Date: April 4, 2024

Key Points: The "Ane Maersk," recognized as the world's first large methanol-powered deep-sea vessel, completed its inaugural methanol bunkering operation in European waters at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges. The vessel was refueled with 4,300 metric tonnes of green methanol and 1,375 metric tonnes of biodiesel during its maiden voyage from South Korea to China. This marks a significant milestone in the port's ambition to become a multi-fuel port, offering a variety of climate-neutral fuels.

Maersk's Second Large Methanol-Fuelled Boxship Named

Date: April 4, 2024

Key points: AP Moller-Maersk named its second large container ship, Astrid Maersk, designed to operate on green methanol, in Yokohama. This vessel is part of Maersk's initiative to transition to green energy in ocean transport, emphasizing the need for collaboration across the industry to achieve net-zero emissions.

China: Green Marine to develop world’s first methanol bunker fuel trading platform in Lin-gang

Date: April 4, 2024

Key Points: The Lin-gang Special Area Administration has partnered with Green Marine Group to create the world's first methanol bunker fuel trading platform. This initiative aims to provide tools for managing price risks and promote physical transactions of green methanol. Additionally, the Green Marine Group will establish the first green methanol training and certification center in Lin-gang to support ship-to-ship methanol bunkering for international sailing ships.

Europe's largest: Solar developer plans giant 800MW green hydrogen-to-methanol plant

Date: April 3, 2024

Key Points: Ansasol is set to construct an 800MW green hydrogen-to-methanol facility in southern Spain, targeting a production of one million tonnes of renewable methanol by 2029. The initial phase aims for 150,000 tonnes by 2027, scaling significantly by 2029. The project, notable for its scale in Europe, is under development without disclosed funding details or the methanol's market. The carbon source's nature for methanol synthesis could affect EU subsidy eligibility.

 

Photo credit: The Methanol Institute
Published: 11 April 2024

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Methanol

VPS conducts assessment on first SIMOPS methanol bunkering op in Singapore

Firm was appointed by OCI Methanol Europe to conduct a quantity and quality assessment of a methanol bunker fuel delivery to “Eco Maestro” in Singapore.

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VPS conducts assessment on first SIMOPS methanol bunkering op in Singapore

Marine fuels testing company VPS on Tuesday (28 May) said it was appointed by OCI Methanol Europe, part of the OCI Global Group, to conduct a quantity and quality assessment of a methanol fuel delivery to Eco Maestro in Singapore.

Captain Rahul Choudhuri, President Strategic Partnerships, VPS, said VPS survey experts Rafael Theseira and Muhd Nazmi Abdul Rahim were at hand during the methanol bunkering to ensure the 300 metric tonnes of methanol transfer was carried out smoothly, having been involved in the first methanol bunkering a year ago. 

Manifold Times recently reported X-Press Feeders, Global Energy Trading Pte Ltd (GET), and PSA Singapore (PSA) successfully completing the first simultaneous methanol bunkering and cargo operation (SIMOPS) in Singapore.

A X-Press Feeder container vessel, Eco Maestro, on its maiden voyage from Asia to Europe was successfully refuelled with close to 300 mt of bio-methanol by GET, a MPA licensed bunker supplier, using MT KARA

The ISCC-certified bio-methanol used for the SIMOPS was produced by green methanol producer OCI Global and supplied via GET, a ISCC-certified supplier.

Captain Choudhuri said the role of the marine, petroleum or bunker surveyor has evolved over the years in shipping and maritime affairs, but the principles have not - and that is to provide independent assessment of the quality and quantity of the product transfer. 

“This may seem obvious but this quality and quantity control is crucial to avoid commercial discrepancies, shortages or fraud,” he said.

“Safety training is critical and we have been on top of this having completed the required MPA fire-fighting course and the IBIA Methanol training course. We will work more with the Singapore Maritime Academy for trainings in future,” he added.

In August last year, Singapore-headquartered independent common carrier X-Press Feeders launched its first ever dual-fuel vessel Eco Maestro in China.

Manifold Times previously reported VPS stating it was the first company to complete a methanol bunker quantity survey (BQS) operation in Singapore on 27 July last year.

VPS was appointed by Maersk and Hong Lam Marine Pte Ltd, to undertake the very first bunker quantity survey (BQS) of a methanol fuel delivery, supplied by Hong Lam to the Maersk vessel on its maiden voyage to Europe. 

Related: First SIMOPS methanol bunkering operation completed in Singapore
Related: VPS completes quantity survey on Singapore’s first methanol bunkering op
Related: Singapore bunkering sector enters milestone with first methanol marine refuelling op
Related: X-Press Feeders launches its first methanol dual-fuel vessel “Eco Maestro” in China

 

Photo credit: VPS
Published: 29 May 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Gasum and Equinor ink continuation of long-term LNG bunkering agreement

Agreement builds on the success of the previous contract Gasum has had with Equinor; Gasum’s bunker vessels “Coralius”, “Kairos” and “Coral Energy” will be used for the bunkering operations.

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Gasum and Equinor ink continuation of long-term LNG bunkering agreement

Nordic liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker supplier Gasum on Tuesday (28 May) said it signed a long-term contract with Norway-based global energy company Equinor whereby Gasum continues to supply LNG to Equinor’s dual-fuel chartered fleet of vessels. 

The agreement builds on the success of the previous contract Gasum has had with Equinor. Gasum’s bunker vessels Coralius, Kairos and Coral Energy will be used for the bunkering operations.

The agreement also includes additional support services such as cooling down and gassing up, which has also been a part of Gasum’s previous collaboration with Equinor. 

Gasum has organised three separate LNG cool down operations for Equinor in Skagen so far this year.

Both Gasum and Equinor have committed to sustainability goals to enable a cleaner energy future. Equinor’s ambition is to become a net-zero emissions energy company by 2050.

Using LNG in maritime transport means complete removal of sulfur oxides (SOx) and particles, and reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions of up to 85 percent as well as a reduction in CO2 emissions by at least 20%. LNG is interchangeable with liquefied biogas (LBG/bio-LNG), which reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 90% compared to conventional fuel such as marine gasoil (MGO).

With LNG and bio-LNG the maritime industry can reduce emissions already today, instead of waiting for future solutions. Gasum’s strategic goal is to bring yearly seven terawatt hours (7 TWh) of renewable gas to market by 2027. Achieving this goal would mean combined carbon dioxide reduction of 1.8 million tons per year for Gasum’s customers.

Related: Equinor Energy AS extends LNG bunkering agreement with Gasum
Related: Gasum expands LNG bunkering business to ARA region through partnership with Equinor

 

Photo credit: Gasum
Published: 29 May 2024

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Methanol

Consortium inks MoU for facility in Egypt to produce green methanol bunker fuel

AD Ports Group, Transmar and Orascom Construction will develop a green methanol storage and export facility, which will provide bunkering solutions for mainliners who have ordered green methanol powered vessels.

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Consortium inks MoU for facility in Egypt to produce green methanol bunker fuel

AD Ports Group, a facilitator of global trade, logistics and industry on Tuesday (28 May) said it signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with container shipping line and terminal operator Transmar and global engineering and construction contractor Orascom Construction for the development of a green methanol storage and export facility. 

AD Ports Group said the facility will aim to supply low-carbon fuel for maritime transport, presenting an opportunity to establish clean alternative energy storage solutions globally.

Green methanol is a synthetic fuel produced renewably and without polluting emissions, and can be produced from green hydrogen. This chemical compound can be used as a low-carbon liquid fuel and is a promising alternative to fossil fuels in areas where decarbonisation is a major challenge.  

Aside from the maritime industry, green methanol can help decarbonise other hard-to-abate industries, including chemical and plastics. 

“The addition of a facility in this area will provide bunkering solutions for those mainliners who have ordered green methanol powered vessels and is aligned with AD Ports Group’s overall decarbonisation strategy and expansion into clean energy liquid bulk storage,” the Group added.

Captain Ammar Mubarak Al Shaiba, CEO – Maritime & Shipping Cluster, AD Ports Group, said: "By signing this MoU with Orascom Construction who have vast international experience in bulk liquid terminals for Methanol storage, and Transmar, who have decades of expertise in this region and within terminal operations, AD Ports Group and its subsidiaries are taking a significant step towards the sustainable future of energy.”

“This initiative not only aligns with the UAE's decarbonisation goals but also accelerates the energy transition in shipping, positioning us at the forefront of the green hydrogen revolution and enabling us to contribute to global environmental stewardship and economic diversification."

 

Photo credit: AD Ports Group
Published: 29 May 2024

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