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Mumbai seminar: Participants indicate confidence in methanol as a bunker fuel

With technological and regulatory challenges associated with methanol as a bunker fuel largely resolved, it’s time for the industry to embrace methanol, says organiser.




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With the technological and regulatory challenges associated with burning methanol as a bunker fuel largely resolved, it’s time for the industry to move forward and get ready to go green with methanol.

That was the view widely expressed at Rise of Methanol As A Future Proof Marine Fuel seminar held in Mumbai and online on Friday (29 April), says Sea Commerce America Inc, one of the seminar organisers.

It was back in August 2021 that methanol secured its position as a future marine fuel when A.P. Moller - Maersk announced an order for 12 large ocean-going container ships to operate on carbon-neutral methanol. 

This landmark order has raised the profile of this promising fuel. However, each shipowner faces unique challenges, and it is not enough to just follow Maersk’s lead and expect success. 

In the seminar the panel of experts spoke in detail on installation options, fuel cost and availability, bunkering infrastructure, and e-fuel production potential.

Today, methanol made from natural gas, offers a lifecycle GHG reduction of 5-15% compared to diesel as well as immediate reductions in SOx, NOx, and particulate matter. Methanol offers a 2% lower fuel consumption per kWh than diesel fuel, and engine corrosion and fuel slip are not an issue due to the high combustion rate achieved by the engine designers. 

In case of a spill, methanol is miscible in water, with near zero risk of damage to the environment and near zero potential harm to the wildlife. 

IMO regulations on handling methanol are well developed within the IGF Code and the Methyl/Ethyl Interim guidelines. Still to come could be rules for methanol bunkering and standards for fuel quality. 

Class oversight is well established. ABS, a pioneer in this, will class the Maersk vessels, and its safety evaluation will include design considerations such as the need for cofferdams between fuel tanks and fire risk areas, double-barriers and sealing systems, ventilation and gas detection, explosion mitigation, and redundancy.

The Maersk newbuilds will require larger bore engines than current dual-fuel methanol LGIM installations, and MAN expects a further increase in engine size to be available soon. This will open up the market for other large, ocean-going vessels, and MAN is already seeing a lot of interest in retrofits.

Berit Hinnemann from Maersk talked about the partnership Maersk has entered into with the producers of Green Methanol to supply their methanol-powered fleet. Maersk will require 10,000 tonnes in the year 2023 and 500,000 tonnes by mid-2025. 

Berit also mentioned that Maersk sees “methanol in combination with biodiesel for the pilot vessel as the only certain and scalable pathway towards significant impact this decade.”

These 16,000 TEU DF Maersk vessels are to be classed with ABS and will provide “20 percent improved energy efficiency per transported container”.

Mr. Vikrant Rai, took over the stage and presented the regulatory views on the subject. He also stressed upon the importance of port energy enhancements and ship energy enhancements.

The event was designed to address the needs of shipowners and operators, and moderated by Richard Clayton, Chief Correspondent at Lloyds List. Speakers, including the host and organiser Capt. Saleem Alavi, delved into the technical, commercial, and regulatory details. 

Top industry experts spoke on the occasion including Berit Hinnemann, Head of De-Carbonization Business Development at Maersk; Ayca Yalcin, Director Market Development EMEA at Methanex; Chris Chatterton, Chief Operating Officer at the Methanol Institute; Fredrik Stubner, Chief Executive Officer, Green Marine Engineering; Kjeld Aabo, Director New Technology at MAN Energy Solutions; Rene Laursen, Manager of Global Gas Solutions at ABS; Vijay Arora, Managing Director Indian Register of Shipping; Vikrant Rai, Engineer & Ship Surveyor cum-Deputy DG(Tech), Mumbai.

Most of the nearly 400 event participants indicated that they had more confidence in methanol’s viability as a bunker fuel after hearing from the expert presenters. 

The event organisers were Sea Commerce America Inc. and Institute of Marine Engineers of India’s Mumbai Branch and sponsored by Methanex, Canada and Methanol Institute, Singapore. 


Photo credit: Sea Commerce America Inc.
Published: 20 May, 2022

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Bunker Fuel

SMW 2024: Singapore is preparing port for multi-fuel future, says Transport Minister.

‘Our industry has brought in new bunker tankers capable of bunkering higher blends of biofuel and methanol, paving the way for greater emissions reduction for vessels,’ says Chee Hong Tat.





SMW 2024: Singapore is preparing port for a multi-fuel future, says Transport Minister.

Singapore has moved decisively to ensure energy and fuel resilience as international shipping looks to alternative fuels to meet global decarbonisation targets, said Singapore’s Minister for Transport Mr Chee Hong Tat on Monday (15 April).

In his speech at the Singapore Maritime Week (SMW) 2024 opening ceremony, he said Singapore is preparing its port for a multi-fuel future.

“Our industry has brought in new bunker tankers capable of bunkering higher blends of biofuel and methanol, paving the way for greater emissions reduction for vessels,” he said.

“MPA has also issued Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the alternative fuels ammonia and methanol over this past year.

“For our ammonia EOI, we have shortlisted six consortiums, and are studying their comprehensive proposals for the supply of ammonia for bunkering and power generation in Singapore.”

Chee added reliability and resilience also mean that Singapore upholds the highest standards for safety, efficiency, and quality. 

“Enterprise Singapore, through the Singapore Standards Council, has been working closely with industry partners to introduce national standards to support the digitalisation of bunkering supply chain documentation, as well as on methanol and ammonia bunkering.”

“As a major maritime and bunkering hub, Singapore is committed to continue serving as a trusted node for international shipping.”

Chee said this when elaborating on Singapore’s focus to grow the republic as a hub for reliable and resilient maritime operations, one of three important areas the republic will prioritise on growing its maritime sector. 

The other two areas are to grow Maritime Singapore as a hub for maritime innovation and as a hub for maritime talent development.

“Looking ahead, we expect some turbulence along the way, but we are confident that the global maritime industry will continue to grow,” Chee said.

“And Singapore as a hub port and International Maritime Centre can benefit from this growth and the opportunities it brings, including in emerging areas like digitalisation and decarbonisation.”

However, Chee warned Singapore shouldn’t take its success for granted and to continue improving productivity and competitiveness while staying relevant to changing requirements to be able to meet the needs of local and international stakeholders. 

“But we must not rest on our laurels, or make the mistake of thinking that these positive outcomes will happen on auto-pilot. A rising tide can indeed lift all boats, but the boat and its crew can only benefit if they are well-prepared when the water level rises,” he said.

Related: SMW2024: 18th Singapore Maritime Week opens with ‘Actions meet Ambition’ theme
Related: SMW 2024: MPA to set up facility for maritime workforce to train in handling new bunker fuels
Related: SMW 2024: Singapore-Rotterdam Green and Digital Shipping Corridor partners to implement first-mover pilot projects
RelatedSMW 2023: EOI for ammonia power generation and bunkering closing by 30 April
Related: Singapore gets its first dedicated methanol bunkering tanker “MT MAPLE”
Related: Singapore: Vitol Bunkers takes delivery of specialised biofuel bunker barge “Marine Future”


Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 16 April 2024

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Banle Energy arranges B24 bunkering services for “YM Utility” in Yantian

Transaction supports the first B24 biofuel supply in Shenzhen and Yang Ming’s inaugural B24 biofuel bunkering supply in China, says firm.





Banle Energy arranges B24 bunkering services for “YM Utility” in Yantian

Banle Energy International Limited, a subsidiary of CBL International Limited, on Monday (15 April) announced the arrangement of B24 biofuel bunkering services for Yang Ming's vessel YM Utility at a port in Yantian, Shenzhen on 14 April.

“By providing Yang Ming with our B24 biofuel bunkering services, this transaction supports the first B24 biofuel supply in Shenzhen and Yang Ming's inaugural B24 biofuel bunkering supply in China,” the firm in a social media post. 

“As a company actively promoting the use of biofuels, we are making a significant contribution to the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from international shipping.”

“The B24 biofuel blend, as indicated by a study, is projected to reduce approximately 20% of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions when compared with conventional fuel oil.”

As the firm focuses on expanding its operations in Europe, the firm added it will continue to forge strategic partnerships and explore new opportunities to provide efficient and reliable solutions.


Photo credit: Banle Energy International Limited
Published: 16 April 2024

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Singapore bunker tanker to be equipped with MAN ES DF gensets

MAN Energy Solutions received an order for three MAN 6L21/31DF-M (Dual Fuel-Methanol) GenSets capable of running on methanol for a 7,990 dwt IMO Type II chemical bunker tanker.





Singapore bunker tanker to be equipped with MAN ES DF gensets

MAN Energy Solutions (MAN ES) on Monday (15 April) said it has received an order for three MAN 6L21/31DF-M (Dual Fuel-Methanol) GenSets capable of running on methanol in connection with the construction of a 7,990 dwt IMO Type II chemical bunker tanker.

The newbuild will operate at the port of Singapore under charter to deliver marine fuels. The port itself is reported as laying plans for the steady supply of methanol from 2025 onwards in order to meet future, anticipated bunkering requirements for methanol-fuelled vessels. 

The dual-fuel engines will form part of a diesel-electric propulsion system on board the vessel with electrical motors driving twin fixed-pitch propellers via gearboxes; an onboard battery-storage system will optimise the use of the dual-fuelled generators. 

MAN Energy Solutions’ licensee, CMP – an engine-manufacturing division of Chinese State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) – will build the engines in China and the vessel is scheduled for delivery during Q4, 2025.

Bjarne Foldager – Country Manager, Denmark – MAN Energy Solutions, said: “Seeing our trusted MAN L21/31 GenSets go into these ships as a methanol-fuelled version shows that maritime decarbonisation is a prominent consideration for shipowners in all vessel segments and sizes.”

“It also clearly illustrates, regardless of the market one serves as shipowner, that our broad, dual-fuel portfolio enables everyone to take part in the green transition.”

Thomas S. Hansen – Head of Sales and Promotion – MAN Energy Solutions, said: “The MAN L21/31 engine is well-established in the market having racked up some 2,750 sales.”

“The reliability of its cost-effective, port fuel-injection concept now prominently positions the 21/31DF-M as the preferred, medium-speed, small-bore engine for GenSet and diesel-electric propulsion solutions, while also meeting market demands to balance both CAPEX and OPEX.”

“With the shipping market currently experiencing an increased interest in methanol as marine fuel, and orders for methanol-fuelled ships steadily growing as part of many companies’ decarbonisation strategy, we feel that the introduction of this dual-fuel engine is timely.”


Photo credit: MAN Energy Solutions
Published: 16 April 2024

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