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Methanol Institute: Progress as a marine fuel continues across supply chain (Week 15, 8-14 April 2024)

Some quarters of the industry continue to express high level issues around bunkering quality standards, training and availability.

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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:

Methanol’s positive progress as a marine fuel continues across the supply chain and shipping sectors, with buyers, suppliers and users all advancing plans for adoption and safe handling.

Some quarters of the industry continue to express high level issues around bunkering quality standards, training and availability – all issues that MI has either completed work on or can provide insight and support.

Elsewhere, work continues to increase the reach of methanol as a fuel and its role in lower carbon emissions. With an increasing share of the industry capable of using methanol as fuel, more designs are coming off the drawing board or achieving class approval, increasing the options for maritime industry stakeholders.

Methanol marine fuel related developments for Week 15 of 2024:

VPS Panel Session Highlights Challenges with Methanol Bunker Fuel Adoption in Shanghai

Date: April 10, 2024

Key Points: A recent seminar organized by VPS in Shanghai focused on the use of methanol as a marine fuel, where various industry experts discussed its challenges and advancements. Key participants included representatives from Chimbusco, the Methanol Institute, Green Marine Group, VPS, DNV, and GARD. They covered topics such as the limited availability of green methanol, the need for methanol bunkering standards, and the importance of safety and training in handling new fuels. Chimbusco highlighted efforts to improve methanol supply at ports and develop quality standards. The Methanol Institute addressed the market gap between methanol supply and demand, noting the increasing number of vessels needing methanol. Green Marine Group emphasized safety in the maritime energy transition, particularly with new fuels like methanol and ammonia. VPS and DNV discussed ensuring safety and quality in methanol bunkering, leveraging existing industry standards. Lastly, GARD spoke on the changing risk profiles due to new fuels, stressing the importance of crew training and insurer engagement to manage these risks effectively. This session underlined the collaborative effort required to support the maritime industry's shift towards decarbonization while maintaining safety standards. 

Blueprints Revealed for Cruise Ship Powered by Wind and Methanol

Date: April 10, 2024

Key Points: Norway-based YSA Design has introduced a concept for a sustainable catamaran cruise ship named Seabreeze, catering to luxury cruise guests. This innovative design features transparent bays between the hulls, allowing guests to view the sea directly beneath them. The ship combines environmental friendliness and modern technology by utilizing foldable sails and engines that run on biomethanol for propulsion. Additionally, it includes a hybrid drive system for silent running on battery power. Designed to accommodate 200 guests and 155 crew members, the Seabreeze's dimensions allow it to navigate shallow waters, making it ideal for reaching less accessible destinations. This project reflects the cruise industry's shift towards sustainability and the need to offer unique experiences to environmentally conscious travellers.

Maersk's New Boxship Takes On Methanol for the First Time in China

Date: April 12, 2024

Key Points: The new 16,000 TEU container ship from AP Moller-Maersk, named Astrid Maersk, has recently completed its first methanol refueling in China at the port of Yangshan, Shanghai. This event, announced on Maersk's website, marks a significant milestone as it represents the first instance of green methanol bunkering in the country. The vessel, which was just named last week in Yokohama, is part of Maersk's commitment to sustainability and its efforts to lead in decarbonizing global logistics. Silvia Ding, Maersk's Managing Director for Greater China, highlighted this event as a critical development in building the necessary green methanol infrastructure and emphasized the company's dedication to innovative solutions for a greener future.

Bureau Veritas Grants Approval for Methanol Fuel System

Date: April 10, 2024

Key Points: Bureau Veritas, a classification society, has given preliminary approval to a methanol dual-fuel system designed by Sasaki Shipbuilding for a 9,000 DWT general cargo vessel. This approval in principle (AiP) underlines the feasibility of using methanol as a sustainable fuel option not only for larger ships but now also for smaller vessels. This achievement highlights Sasaki Shipbuilding's ongoing efforts to innovate within the maritime industry by developing ships that can utilize alternative fuels, thus contributing to the industry’s broader sustainability goals. This move reinforces the potential of methanol for environmentally friendly propulsion across various maritime applications.

Development of Methanol Bunkering Platform Scheduled for China

Date: April 4, 2024

Key Points: Green Marine is set to enhance the methanol fuel market in China with the launch of a new trading platform, following a strategic agreement with the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone Lingang Special Area Administration. This initiative will feature the creation of a methanol bunkering training and certification center in Lingang and the development of an online "Green Fuels Trading Platform." This platform will provide essential tools for managing methanol price fluctuations and facilitating methanol transactions, aiming to improve the allocation of green fuel resources in Shanghai and establish a top-tier green shipping fuel service ecosystem. The move comes as methanol gains popularity as a marine fuel, with increasing demand from various shipping segments. Efforts are being intensified to scale up the green methanol supply to meet the needs of new methanol-fueled vessels entering service.

Upcoming Product Tankers to Feature Batteries, Wing Sails, and Methanol Engines

Date: April 11, 2024

Key Points: A new series of refined product tankers set to be introduced in Europe will be equipped with various advanced features aimed at enhancing environmental sustainability. These vessels will incorporate a battery system, wind-assisted propulsion, and methanol-fueled engines, as announced by the French shipping company EuroGreen Maritime, which has entered into a seven-year charter agreement with Norway's Equinor. Designed by LMG Marin France, these dual-fuel MR IMO II chemical tankers will also feature OceanWings® for reduced fuel consumption, a large battery pack for better power management, and a shore power connection to minimize emissions during port operations. Managed by V.Ships France and flagged under France, the tankers are scheduled for delivery from the Wuhu Shipyard in Weihai, China starting in the first half of 2026. This initiative is part of EuroGreen and Equinor's broader strategy to diminish the environmental impact of maritime operations. 

Green Fuels Powered 3% of Maersk's Container Shipments in 2023

Date: April 12, 2024

Key points: AP Moller-Maersk reported an uptick in its use of green fuels for shipping containers, with 3% of its shipments in 2023 powered by such fuels, up from 2% in the previous year. The company aims to increase this to 25% by 2030, defining green fuels as those that achieve at least 65% reduction in lifecycle GHG emissions compared to traditional fossil fuels. The recent increase was primarily fueled by higher usage of biofuel blends and the incorporation of methanol-fueled vessels, including one 2,100 TEU feeder vessel and two 16,000 TEU ships. Maersk is actively working on securing more green methanol and other sustainable fuels to meet its future goals and is also exploring the use of green ammonia and other potential eco-friendly fuels for future operations.

 

Photo credit: The Methanol Institute
Published: 24 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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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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Milestone

Singapore: Global Energy celebrates first methanol marine fuel delivery with IMO type II bunker tanker

Approximately 1,340 mt of blended methanol was supplied by GET’s IMO type II bunker tanker “MT Kara” to “Stena Prosperous” on 24 May.

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Singapore: Global Energy celebrates first methanol marine fuel delivery with IMO type II bunker tanker

Singapore accredited bunker supplier Global Energy Trading Pte Ltd (GET) on Friday (24 May) entered a company milestone with its first methanol bunkering operation.

Approximately 1,340 metric tonnes (mt) of blended methanol was supplied by GET’s IMO type II bunker tanker MT Kara to Stena Prosperous, a methanol-powered tanker commercially managed by Proman, after loading from the VOPAK Penjuru Terminal.

A fuel blend of 20% ISCC-certified sustainable bio-methanol and 80% conventional methanol, which reduces carbon emissions by 31% on a tank-to-wake basis compared to using Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) for the same journey, was supplied during the bunkering operation.

“This marks a milestone in the history of Singapore’s marine fuel industry, paving the way for the island’s transition to meet its decarbonisation goals of 2030 and beyond,” Wayne Loh, Manager, Commercial Business, GET told Manifold Times.

“Our joy of success is shared with Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Proman, Valenz, Vopak, Classification Societies, and other key stakeholders.

“All participants have contributed dearly and worked diligently together to set the course towards a sustainable future in shipping.

“The journey will strengthen Singapore’s position further as the premier port for marine innovations in meeting the challenges associated to methanol and other alternative marine fuels.

“A special ‘thank you’ goes to the crew of Kara and Stena Prosperous for their cooperation and dedication.”

Global Energy Group (established 1992) is a marine service and regional oil transportation/logistics business provider; the company owns and operates 25 bunker tankers to support its marine fuel supply business in Singapore and Fujiarah.

Global Energy Trading Pte Ltd and Stellar Shipmanagement Services Pte Ltd are its wholly owned subsidiaries, operating the core businesses of the group.

Related: Singapore reaches new milestone with methanol bunkering op of “Stena Prosperous”

 

Published: 28 May 2024

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