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OCI Global to double green methanol capacity in US to meet demand from industries

Firm will increase capacity to 400,000 mt per year in response to growing demand for green methanol from numerous high emissions industries, including road transport, shipping and industrial.

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Green methanol producer OCI Global (OCI) on Wednesday (13 September) announced plans to double its green methanol production capacity to approximately 400,000 metric tonnes (mt) per year in response to the growing demand for green methanol from numerous high emissions industries, including road transport, shipping and industrial.

The scale-up plans include entering into supply agreements for renewable natural gas (RNG) exceeding 15,000 mmbtu per day – as well as securing the waste and development rights from the City of Beaumont. 

This is OCI’s first upstream RNG production facility and production is slated to start in Q1 2025. As well as reducing carbon dioxide emissions, obtaining biogas from landfill has the benefit of using methane – which over a 20-year period, has a global warming potential that is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide – that would otherwise escape and accelerate global warming.

A critical manufacturing building block, green methanol can effectively decarbonize traditionally hard-to-abate sectors by significantly reducing the carbon footprint and emissions across a range of key value chains to power cleaner industries.

OCI currently has capacity to produce up to 200 thousand metric tons of green methanol. Offtakers include the road fuels market, where it is used as a fuel-blend to reduce emissions from petrol; as a building block in a range of industrial applications; and most recently, as a fuel for shipping.

OCI has projected growth in the green methanol market of incremental demand of more than 6 million tonnes by 2028, due to the adoption of green methanol as a shipping fuel, based on the 225 dual-fuelled methanol vessels now on order.

This summer, the first ever green methanol container vessel, owned by AP Moller Maersk, was fueled with OCI HyFuels green methanol on its maiden voyage from Korea to Copenhagen. The company also announced last month a new agreement with Xpress Feeder Lines to supply their green methanol ships at the Port of Rotterdam from 2025.

Ahmed El-Hoshy, CEO, OCI Global, said: “Today’s announcement cements OCI’s position as the leading green methanol producer globally. It also represents another milestone in our decarbonization journey as a business, and our commitment to driving the energy transition.

“It’s positive that we are starting to see industry make that commitment too. We are seeing encouraging signs with regulatory support for both ammonia and methanol in shipping, such as the EU’s FuelEU maritime regulation and the latest IMO strategy bolstering the value of low carbon and green methanol and ammonia relative to fossil fuels.”

“It is clear that both fuels will need to play an integral role to reach the IMO’s revised targets and OCI Global stands ready to supply them. However, these targets must be supported by practical mechanisms to continue to maintain momentum towards meeting global greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.”

Bashir Lebada, CEO, OCI Methanol/HyFuels, said: “We continue to see more and more realisation that methanol is the transportation sector’s most viable solution and the easiest way to transport and use renewable hydrogen today.”

“It is a solution that is available now and our focus is on continuing to scale technologies whether through our projects or our supply partners, to ensure that our capacities continue to grow alongside demand. We are seeing increasing pull from road fuel markets due to the delay in EV adoption and charging station build-out and while marine demand has been growing at a very fast pace, we have yet to see the impact of retrofits which should end up being a larger segment than new-builds.

“E-methanol will also be a new product for us, and with the RFNBO mandates in the coming years, will quickly become the blendstock of choice with gasoline to ensure compliance. We are also very excited to announce the expansion of our 13-year partnership with the City of Beaumont, this landfill will bolster our product portfolio with additional green fuels right in our backyard and add to our existing supply portfolio of RNG.”

Roy West, Mayor of Beaumont, said: “We’re pleased to partner with OCI on this exciting project, which further develops our long-term relationship with OCI as an industrial employer in Beaumont. This joint project will create societal and environmental benefits, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and reduction in other air emissions resulting from landfill operations.”

“This agreement is considered a win-win agreement for the city and OCI, as it allows the City to generate an additional revenue stream from its landfill operations while OCI will be able to use the renewable natural gas for its business.”

Photo credit: OCI Global
Published: 15 September, 2023

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Bunker Fuel

SMW 2024: Maritime International Advisory Panel discusses decarbonisation, green financing, digitalisation

Panel noted that financial institutions were willing to provide lending for suitable projects to support maritime decarbonisation with sufficient assurance that the default risks were managed.

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SMW 2024: Maritime International Advisory Panel discusses decarbonisation, green financing, digitalisation

The Maritime International Advisory Panel (IAP) held its third annual meeting on 16 April 2024, during the Singapore Maritime Week 2024. 

This year, the Maritime IAP held in-depth discussions on the key developments in the maritime sector, including decarbonisation, green financing, digitalisation and cybersecurity. 

Members of the panel who were present included Hiroaki Sakashita, President and CEO, ClassNK, Stephen Fewster, Managing Director, Global Head, Shipping Finance, ING Bank, Nick Brown, CEO, Lloyd’s Register, and Jonathan Wright, Global Managing Partner, Global Finance and Supply Chain Transformation Service Line Leader, IBM.

Established in 2022 by the Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Maritime IAP aims to seek international perspectives on key long-term trends and developments that will shape the maritime industry. 

It comprises global leaders from the maritime sector, adjacent industries and academia, and is chaired by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Finance. Local industry and union leaders also joined the meeting to share their perspectives.

IAP comprises global leaders from the maritime sector, adjacent industries and academia, and is chaired by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Finance.

IAP comprises global leaders from the maritime sector, adjacent industries and academia, and is chaired by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Finance.

Key Trends and Opportunities for the Maritime Sector

The Maritime IAP highlighted that despite geopolitical uncertainties and supply chain shifts, there were significant opportunities for the global maritime sector in the following areas:

  • Accelerating the green transition towards a low- and zero-carbon future, supported by important enablers such as financing for green shipping;
  • Deepening the utilisation of technology and digitalisation while strengthening cyber resilience; and
  • Training and re-skilling the maritime workforce to take on the new job opportunities of the future.

The Maritime IAP emphasised that Singapore plays an important role in facilitating global trade flows, supporting global maritime decarbonisation, and advancing maritime digitalisation and cyber-resilience. 

Singapore’s position as a trusted and established maritime eco-system could catalyse green financing solutions, unlock the benefits of deeper utilisation of technology and data, and position it as a training hub to develop the skills needed by the future maritime workforce.

Strengthening Maritime Ecosystem Amid Global Shifts and Green Transition

Against the backdrop of global uncertainties, the Maritime IAP highlighted that Singapore could be an important trade and maritime intermediary, given its status as a neutral, trusted, and leading maritime hub. With growing trade to emerging regions as trade flows shifted, the panel believed Singapore would be an important conduit for new trades going forward. The panel further suggested for Singapore to become a trusted maritime technology hub for the development, installation, and accreditation of critical technologies, especially for those fitted onboard ships.

The Maritime IAP noted that amidst the ongoing green transition, there would be competing demands for various low- or zero-carbon fuels (e.g. hydrogen, ammonia, methanol) from other sectors.

The Maritime IAP highlighted the need to draw on a wide range of green financing instruments and investments to catalyse change, address hurdles and accelerate the sector’s green transition. 

The panel also noted that financial institutions were willing to provide lending for suitable projects to support maritime decarbonisation with sufficient assurance that the default risks were managed. To address the financing needs of the sector, the panel suggested for maritime stakeholders to pool their needs, while demand aggregation would help smaller companies gain better access to suitable solutions and financing, and also allow financial institutions to better determine and manage the risks involved.

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 19 April 2024

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Shipping Corridor

SMW 2024: New Singapore, LA, Long Beach study reveal future demand for green bunker fuels on shipping corridor

Shipping demand along Green and Digital Shipping Corridor between the nations is estimated to be around 850,000 mt of methanol and 160,000 mt of ammonia annually by 2030.

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SMW 2024: Singapore, LA, Long Beach reveal future demand for green bunker fuels on shipping corridor in new study

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach on Thursday (18 April) said they have completed a comprehensive baselining study, one year after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a Green and Digital Shipping Corridor (GDSC).

It forecasts more green jobs, health improvements for local communities and economic benefits for participating countries, emphasising the future demand for zero and near-zero emission fuels and the benefits from decarbonising the shipping routes between the nations.

Key findings of the study include:

  • Vessels operating on the corridor represent 7% of the world’s container trade, which is about 1% of Singapore's, 14.5% of Port of Long Beach’s, and 20% of Port of Los Angeles’ traffic.
  • The projected annual energy demand of vessels on the corridor is estimated to be approximately 60,000 terajoules (TJ), equivalent to approximately two months of Singapore’s national electricity generation.
  • Shipping demand on the corridor is estimated to be around 850,000 metric tonnes (mt) of methanol and 160,000 mt of ammonia annually by 2030, displacing the equivalent GHG emissions from almost 320,000 cars annually.
  • The transition to zero and near-zero emission fuels could potentially create approximately 700 jobs in the production and supply chain of such fuels by 2030.

The study, commissioned by C40 and the ports, and conducted by the American Bureau of Shipping, analysed maritime trade flows between Singapore, Los Angeles and Long Beach, and provided a baseline of activities and energy demand requirements for vessels operating on the corridor through to 2050. 

The conclusion of the study follows the successful unveiling of the corridor’s Partnership Strategy at the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28/CMP18/CMA5) in December 2023, which outlined the corridor’s goals, partnership structure and governance mechanism. 

The study estimates the quantity of near-zero and zero-emission fuels required for this traffic by modelling the adoption of zero and near-zero carbon alternative fuels by vessels operating on the corridor through to 2050, considering various parameters such as fuel production costs and fuel availability, and in view of the targets in the 2023 IMO Strategy on Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships. 

The partnership convened the first in-person stakeholder meeting of the corridor together with industry value-chain representatives, as a prelude to onboarding stakeholders to the corridor. The meeting was held during Singapore Maritime Week (SMW) 2024 on 18 April.

The meeting and subsequent working groups will focus on developing green and digital solutions to address the following focus areas within the corridor:

  1. Enable the supply and adoption of zero and near-zero emissions fuels (e.g. green ammonia, green methanol) at scale, including safety, emergency response, mitigation and standards-setting.
  2. Develop and scale-up the adoption of energy efficiency solutions, including through digital tools (e.g. route optimisation, remote monitoring) and technologies that reduce fuel consumption (e.g. wind-assisted propulsion).
  3. Develop and encourage the adoption of digital technologies to support the monitoring, reporting and verification of GHG emissions along the corridor.

All three ports will participate in the Accelerating Digitalisation and Decarbonisation Conference organised by MPA as part of SMW 2024 and in a moderated discussion convened by C40 on the sidelines of SMW 2024 entitled ‘Navigating Collaboration: Governance of Green Shipping Corridor Partnerships’, where C40 will unveil its new report and share insights into best practices for GDSC effective governance.

Mr Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive of MPA, said: “Shipping is a new pillar in the multi-faceted partnership with the US. The GDSC with the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach highlights the importance of working with industry, researchers, government and society through innovation and capacity building. With traffic along the GDSC accounting for 7% of the world’s container trade, the initiatives by GDSC partners and stakeholders will help generate growth and new opportunities for maritime professionals.”

Note: The study titled An Initial Baselining Study to Support the Development of the Los Angeles/ Long Beach to Singapore Green and Digital Shipping Corridor can be found here.

Related: SMW 2023: Singapore, LA and Long Beach ink MoU to establish green and digital shipping corridor
Related: Singapore, LA and Long Beach unveil Partnership Strategy for Pacific Ocean green and digital shipping corridor

Other links related to SMW 2024: 

Related: SMW 2024: Ken Energy and Green COP partner to advance bio bunker fuels in Singapore
Related: SMW 2024: Seatrium, A*STAR to explore new energies and AI for offshore and marine uses
Related: SMW 2024: Pacific Environment, Ulsan Port Authority to accelerate zero-emission shipping and ports
Related: SMW 2024: Singapore is preparing port for multi-fuel future, says Transport Minister
Related: SMW 2024: MPA partners with S&P Global and Bunkerchain in digital ship identity
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

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 18 April 2024

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Alternative Fuels

SMW 2024: MPA receives 50 submissions for EOI to supply methanol bunker fuel in Singapore

Over 60 regional and international companies, comprising energy firms, fuel suppliers, traders, bunker operators, and storage companies, participated in the EOI, says MPA.

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SMW 2024: MPA receives 50 submissions for EOI to supply methanol bunker fuel in Singapore

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Wednesday (17 April) updated participants on Singapore’s methanol and ammonia bunkering capability developments, and net-zero pathways for the domestic harbour craft sector at the Accelerating Digitalisation and Decarbonisation Conference. 

MPA said it received a total of 50 submissions, out of which 40% of them proposed end-to-end solutions covering all three areas highlighted in the expression of interest (EOI) for the supply of methanol as a marine fuel in Singapore.

The EOI sought proposals covering three areas; methanol supply, methanol bunkering operating model at commercial scale, and alternatives to the physical transfer of methanol molecules to Singapore, to enable a resilient fuel supply to meet the needs of methanol-capable vessels in Singapore in the coming years. 

“Over 60 regional and international companies comprising energy companies, fuel suppliers, traders, bunker operators, and storage companies, participated in the EOI, which MPA said signalled clear business confidence in Singapore as a key offtake location for methanol by international shipping,” it said. 

The EOI was launched last year following the completion of the world’s first ship-to-containership methanol bunkering in Singapore in the same year.

Based on consultations with the industry, MPA said the demand for methanol as a marine fuel in Singapore can potentially exceed one million tons per annum (MTPA) before 2030, subject to the pace of developments of supply chains, infrastructure, and regulations globally.

The proposals received for the low carbon methanol supply and delivery are promising, with several projects already in operation or have crossed Final Investment Decision. 

On aggregate, these projects have the potential to supply over one MTPA of low-carbon methanol by 2030, subject to commercial decisions and global developments. 

Many of the companies plan to use ready storage infrastructure in Singapore and will partner craft operators to build or procure bunker tankers capable of carrying and delivering methanol, taking into consideration MPA’s safety and quality assurance standards, crew training requirements, and methanol bunker tanker specifications. 

The proposals received provide strong indications that the industry is preparing for methanol bunker demand to scale up in the coming years, most notably seen in the scheduled delivery of Type II bunker tankers capable of supplying methanol this year.

Insights from the EOI submissions will inform the development of the methanol bunkering regulatory framework to ensure the safe and efficient supply of methanol as a marine fuel in Singapore at a commercial scale. 

MPA and Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG), through Singapore Standards Council (SSC), are developing national standards on methanol and also ammonia bunkering. 

The standards aim to ensure the safe operations and handling of these fuels and will support the maritime industry’s transition to sustainable alternative fuels. They span areas including custody transfer requirements, operational and safety requirements for the delivery of methanol and ammonia from a bunker tanker to receiving vessels, as well as crew training and competencies. The standards for methanol are expected to be published by EnterpriseSG in 2025. 

MPA’s regulatory framework for methanol bunkering licence is expected to be finalised in the coming months. MPA will call for applications for a licence to supply methanol as a marine fuel in Singapore by the end of the year.

“MPA will work closely with the consortiums on the selected chain-of-custody proposals on pilots that assess the feasibility of these approaches and methods, with the aim for further development on a global scale,” it added.

Development of ammonia bunkering capabilities

In March 2024, the world’s first ocean-going ammonia-powered vessel, Fortescue Green Pioneer, successfully conducted its first fuel trial in Singapore4 over a period of six weeks. 

The Fortescue Green Pioneer received flag approval from the Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) and the ‘Gas Fuelled Ammonia’ notation by classification society DNV to use ammonia, in combination with diesel, as a marine fuel. 

A second tranche of three tonnes of liquid ammonia will be loaded for the Fortescue Green Pioneer to conduct further tests and trials over the next few weeks.

MPA and the Energy Market Authority (EMA) are currently reviewing proposals to develop an end-to-end solution to provide low- or zero-carbon ammonia for power generation and bunkering on Jurong Island. 

The proposals were submitted by the shortlisted consortiums from MPA and EMA’s EOI in a restricted Request for Proposal(RFP). The bidders will be further shortlisted and MPA and EMA will work with the

selected parties on the pre-Front End Engineering Design (pre-FEED) study for ammonia import terminals, ammonia bunkering and ammonia power generation. The pre-FEED is intended to confirm the technical and economic feasibility of the project before MPA and EMA select a lead developer for the project with the government by Q1 2025.

MPA will also be inviting shipping companies with intentions to transport ammonia, or which are already transporting ammonia, to participate in an open non binding Request for Information (RFI) to quote the shipping and insurance cost of ammonia from potential source locations to Singapore. Participants may identify ammonia demand hubs between the source country and Singapore in order that the demand can be aggregated to reap economies of scale in the shipping of ammonia. 

Interested parties are invited to visit https://go.gov.sg/mpa-rfi-ammonia-transport to access the RFI document. Submission will close on 17 May 2024, 2359 hrs (Singapore time).

Electrification transition of domestic harbour craft fleet

In January 2024, MPA announced three vessel charging concepts to be piloted in Singapore following the call for proposal to develop, operate, and maintain electric harbour craft (e-HC) charging points in Singapore. 

The first charging point pilot, installed by Pyxis and SP Mobility, was recently launched at Marina South Pier.

Insights from the data collected will contribute towards the development of a national e-HC charging infrastructure masterplan, implementation plan, and national standards for e-HC charging infrastructure. MPA is also working with Enterprise Singapore, industry stakeholders and academia to develop a Technical Reference (TR) for e-HC charging and battery swap system. The draft TR is now available for public consultation via https://go.gov.sg/mpa-tr-ehc-charging.

In February 2024, MPA also shortlisted a total of 11 passenger launch and cargo lighter vessel designs following an EOI for e-HC design proposals. 

MPA is currently working with Research Institutes and Institutes of Higher Learning to enhance the various vessel designs and reduce their energy requirements. When ready, the reference designs can be progressively marketed, and production orders aggregated from the industry. This is expected to reap overall cost savings for companies making a transition to e-HC.

MPA has received 12 financing and seven insurance proposals in response to the EOI launched in October 2023 to support early adopters of e-HC. 

Several banks have expressed interest in offering direct debt financing options for harbour craft owners. The response to the EOI has also affirmed the strong interest from financial institutions and intermediaries in offering alternative financing solutions beyond debt financing to support the sector’s transition to e-HC. In the next phase of the EOI process, MPA will issue a closed call for proposals to shortlist the alternative financing proposal(s) for implementation. MPA will share more on the next steps in the next few months.

The insurance related submissions have highlighted that the proposed insurance premiums for e-HC are comparable to that of conventional harbour craft. To address the feedback received from EOI participants who had submitted insurance proposals, MPA will be consulting the industry to put in place supportive mechanisms to help right-price the premiums. These mechanisms could include setting up of a data repository platform, development of training programmes to promote safety awareness and best practices for e-HC operations, as well as establishing quality assurance framework(s) and mechanisms.

Aside from electrification, biofuel blends of up to B50 are already commercially available. In 2023, 520,000 tonnes of biofuel blends were supplied, which more than tripled from 140,000 tonnes in 2022. MPA is working with industry to develop the standards for up to B100, which is expected to be completed by 2025.

Related: MPA issues EOI seeking for methanol bunker fuel suppliers in Singapore
Related: MPA issues EOI seeking for methanol bunker fuel suppliers in Singapore
Related: Fortescue successfully conducts world’s first ammonia bunker fuel trial in Singapore
Related: Singapore to select developer for low-carbon ammonia solution for power generation and bunkering
Related: SMW 2023: EOI for ammonia power generation and bunkering closing by 30 April
Related: MPA launches first pilot trial for electric harbour craft charging point in Singapore
Related: Singapore: MPA calls for proposals to design electric harbour craft
Related: MPA: Singapore to trial vessel charging concepts for electric harbour craft
Related: Singapore: MPA shortlists 11 proposals for fully electric harbour craft EOI
Related: MPA: Financiers and insurers ready to support electrification of the domestic harbour craft sector

Other links related to SMW 2024: 

Related: SMW 2024: Ken Energy and Green COP partner to advance bio bunker fuels in Singapore
Related: SMW 2024: Seatrium, A*STAR to explore new energies and AI for offshore and marine uses
Related: SMW 2024: Pacific Environment, Ulsan Port Authority to accelerate zero-emission shipping and ports
Related: SMW 2024: Singapore is preparing port for multi-fuel future, says Transport Minister
Related: SMW 2024: MPA partners with S&P Global and Bunkerchain in digital ship identity
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

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 18 April 2024

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