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Singapore-based X-Press Feeders to launch world’s first feeder network powered by green methanol

Firm aims to create ‘green routes’ early next year to the Scandinavia-Baltic region of northern Europe by using its DF vessels; first DF vessel “Eco Maestro” will have its maiden voyage in Q1 next year.

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Singapore-based X-Press Feeders to launch world’s first feeder network powered by green methanol

Singapore-based global maritime container shipping company X-Press Feeders on Tuesday (12 December) said it aims to create ‘green routes’ early next year to the Scandinavia-Baltic region of northern Europe by using its dual-fuel vessels. 

The maritime shipping company, which operates a fleet of more than 100 vessels, has 14 dual-fuel vessels on order and due for delivery from next year’s first quarter through to mid-2026. X-Press Feeders’ 14 dual-fuel ships are each at 1,200 TEU capacity with length overall (LOA) of 148 metres.

The first dual-fuel vessel, Eco Maestro, will have its maiden voyage in Q1 next year, and it will be from Shanghai – where the ship is built – to the Port of Rotterdam via the Suez Canal.

Eco Maestro, which is the first bio methanol powered ship to be built in China, will use bio-methanol for her voyage to Europe. Bio-methanol is a renewable energy source produced from the decomposition of organic matter, such as waste and residues. Because bio methanol is produced from a renewable source, it is often referred to as green methanol.

While X-Press Feeders is committed to using green methanol, the availability and distribution of methanol at ports on a global scale still poses a challenge.

“We aim to power Eco Maestro with green methanol for the entire journey from Shanghai to Rotterdam but certain ports enroute have no infrastructure at present to supply methanol to ships, so we are engaging them to make it possible,” said Francis Goh, X-Press Feeders’ Chief Operating Officer.

“We see this maiden voyage as a way to promote sustainable shipping globally and highlight to the global community how the shipping industry is working to play its part in helping to reduce CO2e emissions.”

“By embarking on this voyage, we are also highlighting to all industry stakeholders – not just shipping companies but also regulators, port operators, fuel suppliers, logistics companies, freight-forwarders and beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) – that we all need to work together and play our part to make sustainable shipping a reality.”

“Only by working together – step by step – can the industry put in place the necessary infrastructure at ports to support sustainable shipping. And only by having the end customer - namely the BCOs - on board, can we make sustainable shipping financially viable.”

“We are working with our industry partners and customers to put their goods on Eco Maestro and join us on the journey to more sustainable shipping,” he added

After her inaugural voyage from Shanghai to Rotterdam, Eco Maestro will be operating on a feeder network in Northern Europe, based in the Port of Rotterdam. 

The green routes will start in next year’s second quarter and be from Rotterdam to ports in Scandinavia and the Baltic states. X-Press Feeders will be the world’s first dedicated feeder carrier to operate a container vessel powered by green methanol. It has already signed a firm contract with Dutch fuel supplier OCI Global for the supply of green methanol at the Port of Rotterdam starting from 2024. OCI’s green methanol is ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) certified.

“X-Press Feeders is most ideally suited to lead the maritime feeder sector in the adoption of green methanol, because we operate smaller, more fuel-efficient vessels on short-sea routes,” said Goh.

“A key challenge with using green methanol, or any sustainable fuel for that matter, is it is in relatively small supply. Production of green methanol and other sustainable fuels needs to scale up enormously to meet the needs of the global maritime industry.”

“But as a feeder operator, where our ships tend to operate on short sea routes within a relatively small geography, the quantities of bio-methanol available are sufficient for our dual-fuel vessels to run ‘closed loop’ services, where about 95% of the entire round voyage can be powered by methanol, with a resupply of fuel at the bunkering port after every voyage.”

Eco Maestro deployed on a round voyage service, would save 268kg of CO2e emissions for every TEU carried, when compared to a feeder vessel of similar capacity running on conventional marine fuel.

The decision to add dual-fuel vessels powered by green methanol is a key element of the company’s pledge to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) by 20% by 2035, 50% by 2040 and be net zero by 2050.

“We understand that there is no single solution to reducing the maritime industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve our longtime goals, we need to start taking steps today and this involves implementing several initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Goh added. 

Photo credit: X-Press Feeders
Published: 13 December, 2023

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Methanol

Methanol Institute: Methanol fuel innovations and expansions (Week 28, 8 to 14 July 2024)

This week, advancements in methanol as a marine fuel included new additives reducing the need for pilot fuel, new eco-friendly tankers, and methanol-powered feeder ships in Rotterdam.

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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:

Technology around the use of methanol as a marine fuel has continued to move forward, with the latest developments including an additive which removes the need for pilot fuel, further saving carbon emissions. Elsewhere, bunker networks, fuel transport and cargo capacity using cleaner methanol has continued to expand.

Methanol marine fuel related developments for Week 28 of 2024:

Terntank orders Fifth Eco-Friendly Tanker with Methanol and Wind Propulsion

Date: July 8, 2024

Key Points:

Terntank has placed an order for a fifth vessel featuring wind-assisted propulsion and methanol fuel capabilities from China Merchants Jinling Shipyard. Scheduled for delivery between March 2025 and July 2027, the 15,000 DWT chemical and product tanker aims to enhance environmental performance. The company emphasized the benefits of these technologies, including reduced emissions and expanded shore power usage, reinforcing its commitment to sustainable shipping practices.

Fratelli Cosulich Orders Two New Bunker Vessels with Methanol and Biofuel Capabilities

Date: July 8, 2024

Key Points:

Fratelli Cosulich has ordered two 7,999 DWT bunker delivery vessels from Taizhou Maple Leaf Shipbuilding, capable of handling methanol, biofuel, and fuel oil. The first ship is expected in early 2026. This move reflects the company's commitment to sustainability and technological innovation. Methanol, known for its ability to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is a focal point of this initiative, supporting the transition to cleaner marine fuels.

X-Press Feeders Launches Methanol-Powered Feeder Ships in Rotterdam

Date: July 10, 2024

Key Points:

X-Press Feeders has introduced its first methanol-fueled ship, Eco-Maestro, in Rotterdam, launching Europe's first scheduled feeder network powered by green methanol. The network, comprising 14 ships, will operate routes in Northern Europe with methanol bunkering exclusively in Rotterdam. This initiative aims to support sustainable shipping and help companies achieve environmental goals by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

WinGD Completes Successful Tests on New Short-Stroke Methanol-Compatible Engine

Date: July 11, 2024

Key Points:

WinGD has successfully completed testing of its new X52-S2.0 short-stroke engine at the Yuchai Marine Power Co facility. This engine, now type-approved, is available in diesel, LNG, and methanol configurations, with an ammonia option in development. It features a compact design and high fuel efficiency, making it suitable for smaller vessels. The engine's methanol compatibility underscores its role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and advancing sustainable maritime practices.

Infineum Explores Methanol Fuels for Heavy-Duty and Marine Engines with Innovative Additives

Date: July 11, 2024

Key Points: 

Paul Cooper and Joanna Hughes of Gane Energy spoke to Infineum Insight to discuss the advantages of methanol as fuel for heavy-duty and marine engines and how fuel additives can help to overcome some of the challenges.

One of the issues associated with methanol – in common with many alternative fuels  in marine applications – has been the need to use a pilot fuel to ignite it in the engine. Gane Energy has developed performance additives to methanol fuel, overcoming challenges like lubricity and corrosion. Their approach also eliminates the need for a diesel pilot fuel by converting methanol to dimethyl ether (DME) for ignition.

As the use of methanol grows in various transportation applications, the use of high quality fuel additives will be vital to ensure hardware protection, according to Infineum.

 

Photo credit: Methanol Institute
Published: 19 July, 2024

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Methanol

GENA Solutions: Total renewable and low-carbon methanol project pipeline rises from 32.3 to 34.1Mt by 2029

Information shared by the Methanol Institute meant to assist the maritime industry in the adoption of methanol as a mainstream marine fuel heading into IMO 2030/2050

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GENA Solutions: Total renewable and low-carbon methanol project pipeline rises from 32.3 to 34.1Mt by 2029

The Methanol Institute recently shared with Manifold Times the renewable and low-carbon methanol project pipeline June 2024 database release produced by Finland-based GENA Solutions Oy (Green Energy Analytics).

Information from the release is meant to provide the bunkering publication’s readers with insight on renewable methanol availability, and to assist the maritime industry in the adoption of methanol as a mainstream marine fuel heading into IMO 2030/2050.

Key highlights of the June 2024 release are as follows:

  • The Renewable methanol (RM) project pipeline continues to grow rapidly, increasing from 24.2 Mt in May 2024 to 26.0 Mt in June (+1.8 Mt).
  • As of June 2024, the database contains 8 Mt of e-methanol (+0.8 Mt from May) and 10.3 Mt of biomethanol (+1.1 Mt) facilities.
  • Twelve renewable methanol projects were added in the June release: four in Europe, six in China, as well as projects in Japan and  in Australia.
  • The share of China in the renewable methanol project pipeline has reached 46%, Europe 28%, and North America and the rest of the world 13% each.
  • The renewable methanol project pipeline is growing rapidly. Over the last 4 months, about 1.6 Mt of new e-methanol and biomethanol projects have been added globally each month.
  • In addition, the Low-carbon methanol (LCM) project pipeline would add an additional 8.1 Mt of anticipated methanol supply by 2029.
  • Total renewable and low-carbon methanol project pipeline increased from 32.3 to 34.1 Mt.

Renewable methanol by product

Renewable methanol by feedstock

RM by region

RM by status

Renewable methanol scenarios

 

Photo credits: GENA Solutions
Published: 15 July 2024

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Methanol

Methanol Institute: Innovative developments and strategic collaborations (Week 27, 1-7 July 2024)

This week, the maritime industry made pivotal advancements in methanol fuel technology and forged strategic partnerships, reinforcing the maritime industry’s shift towards sustainable fuel alternatives.

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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:

Groundwork for the energy transition is seeing more and more shipping companies and their stakeholders prepare for lower carbon operations. Contracts are being placed for new vessels, propulsion systems and the infrastructure that will enable wider use of methanol. Owners continue to put their faith in alternatives with orders for 49 methanol fuel ships ordered in the first half of 2024.

Methanol marine fuel related developments for Week 27 of 2024:

Blue World Completes Testing of Methanol Fuel Cell System for Ships

Date: July 1, 2024

Key Points: Blue World Technologies has completed testing on its 200 kW high-temperature PEM fuel cell system for ships, which runs on methanol. The system, boasting up to 55% electrical efficiency at the commercial stage, promises fuel savings of 20-30%. This breakthrough is set to significantly advance maritime decarbonization. A 1 MW pilot system will be installed on one of AP Moller-Maersk's methanol-fueled boxships in the first half of 2026, marking a key step in reducing emissions in the shipping industry.

Ta San Shang Marine to Construct Third Methanol-Ready Service Operation Vessel

Date: July 1, 2024

Key Points: Ta San Shang Marine Co. Ltd., a joint venture between Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Ta Tong Marine, has signed an agreement with Damen Group for the construction of its third methanol-ready service operation vessel (SOV). This new vessel, designed to be methanol-ready, will enhance the company's commitment to adopting methanol as a future marine fuel. The agreement underscores the industry's shift towards sustainable and environmentally friendly marine operations.

 41% of Tonnage Ordered in 1H24 Equipped for Alternative Fuels

Date: July 2, 2024

Key Points: According to Clarksons Research, 41% of the tonnage ordered in the first half of 2024 can run on alternative fuels. This includes 109 orders for LNG-fueled ships, 49 for methanol, 15 for ammonia, 42 for LPG, and 4 for hydrogen. While 54% of tonnage orders were alternatively fueled in the same period in 2022, about 50% of the current total order book is capable of using alternative fuels, indicating a strong shift towards sustainable shipping practices.

Consort Bunkers Forms Alternative Fuels Partnership

Date: July 3, 2024

Key Points: Consort Bunkers, along with ClassNK, Yanmar Asia (Singapore) Corporation, and Taiko Asia Pacific, has signed a memorandum of understanding to develop infrastructure for alternative fuels. This includes the construction of four 7,999 DWT tankers by Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry, capable of bunkering biofuels and methanol. In total, Consort Bunkers has ordered 13 tankers, highlighting a commitment to regional and global implementation of alternative fuel use.

Headway Technology to Equip Four Methanol-Fueled Bulk Carriers with Fuel Supply Systems

Date: July 4th, 2024

Key Points: Headway Technology has signed an agreement to provide methanol fuel supply systems for four 89,000 DWT bulk carriers for Fujian Guohang Ocean Shipping. These systems will include bunkering, transfer, fuel treatment, nitrogen systems, and control and security systems. The vessels, built by Wuhu Shipyard, are scheduled for delivery in 2025-26. Additionally, Headway will supply a methanol fuel system for Fratelli Cosulich's new methanol tanker, due in late 2025.

 

Photo credit: Methanol Institute
Published: 12 July, 2024

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