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Methanol Institute: ‘Turning point’ for methanol as bunker fuel reached with A.P. Moller – Maersk leading change

‘Economics of the shipping market will be the key driver enabling methanol to be adopted at a higher pace going forth over next couple years as market begins to return to more normal rates,’ states COO.

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NYK methanol bunkering at Rotterdam port on 21 July 2021

The adoption of methanol as a bunker fuel reached “a significant turning point” in 2022 due to developments led by A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S, also known as Maersk, states the Chief Operating Officer at Methanol Institute.

“The Maersk announcement was significant because they are the number one shipper in the world and the decision by them to adopt methanol as the first fuel out of the gate indicates logic in doing so,” Chris Chatterton told bunkering publication Manifold Times.

“Their decision is not purely based on lowering carbon emissions but also based on broader aspects and economics including the ability to introduce methanol far into the future with much less risk than other alternative fuels.

“Maersk was the one to start the ball rolling and this had a ripple effect prompting many competitors to seriously consider methanol as a bunker fuel at different levels [targeting IMO 2030/2050].”

Methanol Institute, which serves as the trade association for the global methanol industry, has meanwhile been heavily involved in advising on enquiries from shipowners and bunkering firms – all keen to jump onto the methanol bandwagon, shares Chatterton.

“We know new vessels are coming and they require methanol as a bunker fuel at certain trading ports; hence, we have been very busy attending enquiries advising on locations for bunkering companies to establish market presence since the beginning of 2023,” he notes.

“For starters, we believe Singapore will make very good sense for methanol bunkering operations to launch simply because the republic is well known as a top bunkering port and it has everything available for players to support methanol refuelling activity.”

A Singapore project closely being monitored by Methanol Institute is the detailed feasibility study of methanol bunkering logistics in Singapore by Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Mitsui & Co. Energy Trading Singapore Pte. Ltd., Maersk Oil Trading, and American Bureau of Shipping.

The similar study features Singapore-based bunker player Kenoil Group of Companies (Kenoil) which is advising on last-mile delivery solutions for methanol bunkering.

“This study is considered by the Methanol Institute as the second major milestone for the adoption of methanol as an alternative bunker fuel for the shipping sector,” believes Chatterton.

The Methanol Institute says it is also working closely with class on a potential study for Singapore port operator and supply chain company PSA International Pte Ltd targeting methanol bunkering for smaller vessels.

“Reduction of emissions by local Singapore shipping firms will present them with a stronger case when approaching big shipping firms as a strategic partner,” he explains.

“This is the kind of work we are carrying out in the background to help domestic maritime businesses improve on their competitive advantage when serving these large international fleets – whose clients have a very big focus on sustainability and third-party emissions.”

Moving forward, Chatterton notes the return of shipping rates to pre-Covid levels and the introduction of Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) requirements (taking effect from 2023) encouraging shippers to explore economic avenues for reducing operating costs [i.e. bunkers].

“That will translate into even more interest in methanol as a bunker fuel because the material, which is already a compliant marine fuel, is much more efficient to transport and store when compared to other alternative marine fuels,” he says.

“We need to look at today what we can do. In general, the economics of the shipping market will be the key driver enabling methanol to be adopted at a higher pace going forth over next couple years as market begins to return to more normal rates.”

Related: Maersk makes first green methanol investment of 2023 in tech start-up C1
Related: Maersk and SunGas Renewables sign letter of intent for strategic green methanol production
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Related: A.P. Moller – Maersk and Carbon Sink in partnership to accelerate green methanol production
Related: Maersk and Jordan government sign MoU to explore green methanol production
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Related: MAN ES: Methanol expected to take up to 30% of dual fuel engine orders in a few years
Related: KSOE clinches USD 1.15 billion deal with Maersk to build its six 17,000 TEU methanol-fuelled container ships
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Related: Pacific Environment commends A.P. Møller-Maersk for supporting US Clean Shipping Act
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Related: Maersk inks partnership with Chinese bioenergy firm Debo for green bio-methanol project
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Related: Egypt govt enters project to introduce e-methanol for bunkering at Suez Canal by 2026
Related: Maersk explores Egypt to accelerate hydrogen and green marine fuel production
Related: Maersk secures methanol bunker fuel supply for newbuilds with strategic partnerships
Related: Maersk invests USD 700.3 million for additional four methanol-fuelled container newbuilds
Related: Maersk introduces design of eight carbon-neutral methanol powered container newbuilds

 

Photo credit: NYK, Waterfront Shipping, Vopak, TankMatch
Published: 27 January, 2023

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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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