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Singapore bunkering sector enters milestone with first methanol marine refuelling op

Maersk and Hong Lam Marine have successfully conducted world’s first ship-to-containership methanol bunkering operation of a Maersk’s container vessel on 27 July 2023 in Singapore, says MPA.

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The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Thursday (27 July) said Maersk and Hong Lam Marine Pte Ltd have successfully conducted the world’s first ship-to-containership methanol bunkering operation of a Maersk’s container vessel on 27 July 2023 at the Raffles Reserved Anchorage in Singapore. 

This was also Singapore’s first methanol bunkering operation. The operation was done with the support of MPA, government agencies and research institutes.

Maersk’s container vessel – the world’s first container vessel sailing on green methanol – was successfully refuelled with approximately 300 metric tonnes of bio-methanol via Hong Lam Marine’s Singapore-registered tanker, MT Agility, for its onward maiden passage to Copenhagen. MT Agility had earlier taken bio-methanol stored at Vopak Terminals. The container vessel will be named in a ceremony in Copenhagen in September.

Thorough Preparations to Ensure Safety 

In preparation for the methanol bunkering operation in Singapore, MPA worked with over 28 agencies, partners and institutes to organise table-top exercises (TTX) and workshops, before carrying out a Ground Deployment Exercise (GDX). The first TTX was held during Singapore Maritime Week 2023 to identify safety measures and clarify roles and responsibilities for a coordinated cross-agency response to a methanol incident at sea. 

A separate Hazard Identification (HAZID) and Hazard and Operability Study (HAZOP) workshop was conducted to identify potential risks and develop corresponding prevention, control, and mitigation methods. These were further evaluated during a second TTX and a GDX at sea in July 2023 with various stakeholders and government agencies. Customised methanol firefighting programme was also conducted by the Co-operative of SCDF Employees Ltd (COSEM) for MPA staff and Hong Lam Marine crew members as part of the preparations for the bunkering operation.

As part of the risk and environmental impact assessment for the methanol bunkering operation, MPA reviewed methanol-related incidents globally and worked with the Meteorological Service of Singapore to provide advance lightning risk warning if required. A methanol plume model was jointly developed by the Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC), A*STAR, Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI), National University of Singapore, and the Technology Centre for Offshore and Marine, Singapore (TCOMS), to forecast the dispersion path of the methanol plume in an event of an accidental methanol release and guide operations.

The model is a combination of dispersion in the air layer using computational fluid dynamics by IHPC, weather forecast and air quality modelling by TMSI, and plume dispersion in the sea via metocean modelling and prediction by TCOMS. During the methanol bunkering operation, researchers from the Cambridge Centre for Advanced Research and Education in Singapore flew drones equipped with methanol detector with plume modelling capabilities and infrared camera from MPA’s patrol craft MPA Guardian to augment the detection of potential methanol leaks into the atmosphere and methanol flames in an event of an accidental leak. These novel capabilities will be further enhanced to support the review of responses to maritime incidents and raise the preparedness of seafarers, marine professionals, and the port ecosystem in Singapore as new marine fuels such as methanol are introduced. 

A Technical Reference (TR) for methanol bunkering is being developed by MPA in consultation with the Standards Development Organisation at Singapore Chemical Industry Council (SDO@SCIC). The TR will cover the refuelling requirements, operational and safety requirements for delivery of methanol from a bunker tanker to receiving vessels, crew training and competency. Best practices learnt from this bunkering operation will also inform the development of specialised bunker vessels, mass flow meters, digital bunkering and other standards.

Aside from the development of the Technical Reference, MPA will continue to develop other operational and safety protocols, licensing requirements, training of seafarers and professionals, and study infrastructure needs such as terminal facilities and methanol carrying bunker tankers, to fully operationalise methanol bunkering. Learnings from the bunkering operation will also be presented to partners and international bodies such as the International Maritime Organization later this year to support the safe adoption of methanol as a marine fuel.

Milestone in Singapore’s green shipping future

MPA said the successful completion of the methanol bunkering operation is a significant milestone for Singapore’s development towards a multi-fuel future, and a testament to Singapore’s commitment as the world’s largest bunkering hub to meet the new marine fuel needs of international shipping through safe and efficient bunkering operations. It added more methanol bunkering operations are being planned in the coming year as methanol-enabled vessels are delivered globally. 

Mr Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive, MPA, said: “The success of the methanol bunkering operation is a result of nearly a year’s preparations with various government agencies, research institutes, international collaborators, and industry to develop rigorous safety procedures through in-depth operational and risk assessments, modelling, and validation. This operation will help inform the development of the various standards, including the Technical Reference for methanol bunkering operations in Singapore, and guide our approach for future pilots and trials of new marine fuels. We thank A.P. Moller-Maersk, Hong Lam Marine, American Bureau of Shipping, Mitsui & Co., OCI Global, Stellar Shipmanagement and Vopak for their joint efforts with Singapore-based agencies in operationalising methanol bunkering capability and we welcome partners to work with us to accelerate maritime decarbonisation.”

Mr Morten Bo Christensen, Head of Energy Transition at A.P. Moller – Maersk, said: “A.P. Moller - Maersk is excited to collaborate with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Mitsui & Co., American Bureau of Shipping and Hong Lam Marine on the maiden voyage of the world’s first container vessel sailing on green methanol. This journey is an important step in our efforts to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, as it will allow us to gain the necessary operational experience to operate the new engines and the fuel provided by OCI Global ahead of the arrival of our larger methanol-enabled vessels in the coming years.”

Mr Lim Teck Cheng, Executive Chairman, Hong Lam Marine, said: “We are deeply honoured to be a part of Singapore’s first STS methanol bunkering. This goes with our absolute commitment to provide a safe and environmentally friendly option to decarbonise the marine industry in line with IMO’s GHG emissions targets. This remarkable achievement marks a milestone and demonstrates our commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, and we believe this will be a significant step in accelerating the development of methanol bunkering in Singapore. We would like to express our gratitude to our partners Maersk Oil Trading and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore for their collaboration and support in this endeavour. Together, we can make a positive difference for planet earth and a more sustainable future.”

Mr Panos Koutsourakis, Vice President, Global Sustainability, ABS, said: “We are proud to have collaborated with Maersk, Mitsui, Hong Lam Marine and the MPA to develop the methanol bunkering safety procedures and checklists. This is an important advance on our industry’s sustainability journey, with a laser focus on safety. Green methanol holds significant promise to contribute to the decarbonisation of our industry and ABS has been leading the way by supporting its adoption. This vessel and her successors now on order are a vital step in creating more sustainable global supply chains.”

Mr. Takuya Shirai, the Chief Operating Officer of Mobility Business Unit II of Mitsui & Co. Ltd., said: "We are extremely proud to be part of this epoch-making project from the very beginning. We believe that the success of this ship-to-ship methanol bunkering operation in the port of Singapore is only possible with the close collaborating partnership among A.P. Moller-Maersk, the American Bureau of Shipping, Hong Lam Marine, the Maritime and the Port Authority of Singapore and relevant supporters in this project. It represents a remarkable milestone to the journey towards the decarbonisation of global shipping. Through this project and other GHG reduction initiatives, Mitsui is committed to the realisation of a carbon neutral society."

Mr. Bashir Lebada, Chief Executive Officer, OCI Methanol / OCI HyFuels, said: “We are very proud to be the vessel’s fuel partner, making the world’s first green methanol-fuelled container ship journey a reality. The successful bunkering operation in Singapore is a testament to the hard work of the MPA and all the involved parties, and this maiden voyage proves that we can achieve the marine industry’s global greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets using green methanol. Singapore will be an essential hub for us as we scale our green methanol and ammonia bunker business, and we look forward to working with our local partners there to accelerate the shift to cleaner fuels in shipping.”

Kelvin Kang, General Manager, Stellar Shipmanagement, said: “Stellar Shipmanagement is delighted to be part of this HAZID/HAZOP and TTX discussion group for the methanol bunkering operation. These discussions are very important and helpful to our newbuilding methanol bunker tankers under construction currently, including layout, cargo handling, safety features as well as safe operation procedures. On behalf of our parent company Global Energy Group, we appreciate MPA’s continuous support to the bunkering industry in Singapore and the quest to make Singapore as the front runner in the development of the methanol bunkering.”

Rob Boudestijn, President, Business Unit Singapore, Vopak, said: “We congratulate Singapore on this important milestone and are proud to be a partner in completing this methanol bunkering operation safely. As a reliable infrastructure provider for maritime bunkering over the past 40 years, we look forward to playing a leading role in enabling Singapore’s maritime decarbonisation journey in the multi-fuelled future.”

Related: Singapore gets ready for its first methanol bunkering this week after one year preparation
Related: IBIA, Green Marine ink deal to provide methanol bunker training, starting in Singapore
Related: MPA organises workshop on safe handling of methanol bunker fuel in Singapore
Related: SMW 2023: Methanol-based spill scenario organised for ICOPCE table-top exercise
Related: OCI Global completes first green methanol bunkering of Maersk methanol-fuelled boxship
Related: Maersk orders six more green methanol-powered container ships from Chinese shipbuilder
Related: OCI Global to deliver green methanol bunker fuel for Maersk boxship on maiden voyage
Related: EC President to be godmother of Maersk green methanol powered vessel
Related: Maersk to hold festivities welcoming world’s first green methanol-powered boxship in September

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 27 July, 2023

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Ammonia

HD KSOE receives Lloyd’s Register AiP for ammonia fuel supply system

Fuel supply system addresses the pressing need for sustainable fuel solutions, significantly contributing to efforts aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the global fleet, says LR.

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HD KSOE receives LR AiP for ammonia fuel supply system

Classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR) has granted Approval in Principle (AiP) to HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering (HD KSOE) for their ammonia fuel supply system, which will be used on ammonia new constructions.

The newly developed ammonia fuel supply system shows complete compatibility with high-efficiency cargo handling systems and ammonia engines.

The approval certifies the fuel supply system against LR’s rigorous risk-based certification (RBC-1) process and marks the successful conclusion of a Joint Development Project (JDP) between LR and HD KSOE, which began in April 2024.

The primary objective of the JDP was to develop and refine the design concept of an ammonia fuel supply system for ammonia-fuelled vessels.

LR said the AiP represents the substantial step that LR and HD KSOE have taken towards pioneering innovative solutions for emission reduction in the maritime industry.

“Ammonia, with its capacity to meet the rising demand for emission reduction solutions, represents a promising alternative fuel for the maritime industry,” it said.

“This fuel supply system addresses the pressing need for sustainable fuel solutions, significantly contributing to efforts aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the global fleet.”  

Young-Doo Kim, Global Technical Support Office Representative for Korea, Lloyd’s Register, said: “This approval in principle represents another significant step for developing the technology required for shipowners and operators' adoption of ammonia, one of the primary candidate fuels for the maritime energy transition.”

“We are pleased to continue our strong working relationship with HD KSOE through this joint project that will provide a valuable solution for ammonia propelled ships.”

Young-jun Nam, Vice Present & COO of HD KSOE, said: “Ammonia is a zero-carbon fuel that is attracting great attention in terms of economics and supply stability. HD Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering will lead the field of eco-friendly equipment and materials to take the lead in commercialising ammonia in 2025.”

 

Photo credit: Lloyd’s Register
Published: 25 June, 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Erik Thun takes delivery of LNG dual-fuel tanker “Thun Vettern”

Vessel, which is the latest contribution to the Vinga-series, has dual-fuel capability, runs on LNG/LBG or gasoil and is fully equipped for shore power connection when available in ports.

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Erik Thun takes delivery of LNG dual-fuel tanker “Thun Vettern”

Shipping firm Erik Thun on Monday (24 June) said it has taken delivery of Thun Vettern, a 17,999-dwt vessel, which was built by China Merchants Jinling Shipyard in Yangzhou.

The vessel is an upgraded version of the sister Thun Venern. Thun Vettern is the latest contribution to the “Vinga-series”, all trading within the Gothia Tanker Alliance. The Thun Vettern is the newest and latest edition to the Vinga-series and she has ice class 1A. 

The vessels in the Vinga-series all have dual-fuel capability, run on LNG/LBG or gasoil and are fully equipped for shore power connection when available in ports.

They are designed with a battery hybrid solution and several innovative features that reduce fuel and energy consumption, resulting in extensively lowered emissions of CO2, sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxide and hazardous particles. 

The firm said the ships have scored the best Energy Efficiency Design Index or EEDI value in their segment globally, meaning that they are the most energy efficient vessels according to the International Maritime Organization (IMO). 

The Vinga-series is designed for the intense and demanding trade in the North Sea and Scandinavia, well suited to meet the growing European demand for biofuels and renewable feedstocks.

Erik Thun´s close partner Furetank will technically and commercially manage the new vessel which upon delivery will enter into the Gothia Tanker Alliance network.

“Sustainability work has always been and will be a focus ahead for Erik Thun. To take delivery of a resource efficient, top performing product tanker like Thun Vettern, and further deepen our good and long-term co-operation with Furetank is a great example of our vision to be a sustainable Swedish partner over generations,” said Johan Källsson, Managing Director at Erik Thun AB.

 

Photo credit: Erik Thun
Published: 25 June, 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Wärtsilä on LNG bunker fuel: Expert answers to 17 important questions

Firm gives an expert overview on top questions on LNG bunker fuel including if LNG is a future fuel and what does LNG being a transition fuel means.

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RESIZED Chris Pagan

Technology group Wärtsilä on Wednesday (19 June) gave an expert overview on top 17 questions related to LNG bunker fuel in this insight article including if LNG is a future fuel: 

Your choice of fuel affects both your profitability and your vessel’s environmental compliance. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a safe and cost-effective fuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants. LNG is playing a key role as a transition fuel and is widely seen as the first step towards decarbonising the maritime industry.

Switching to LNG as fuel for ship propulsion requires investment but can save you fuel costs, increase your profitability and reduce compliance risks. The expert answers to these 17 questions will tell you what you need to know about LNG as an alternative fuel for shipping.

What is LNG?

LNG is natural gas that has been cooled to -162°C (-260°F), turning it into a clear, odourless liquid that is easy to ship and store. LNG is typically 85–95% methane, which contains less carbon than other forms of fossil fuels. It is a compact, efficient form of energy that is ideal for ship propulsion.

What is LNG used for?

LNG is primarily used as a clean-burning energy source. It is used for electricity generation, heating, cooking, and as a transportation fuel. LNG is also used as a raw material for products like fertilisers and plastics.

In the shipping industry, LNG as fuel is used for ship propulsion, auxiliary power generation and other onboard energy needs. LNG as an alternative fuel for shipping has gained wide popularity due to its clean-burning properties and potential to help meet stricter emissions regulations.

What are the sources of LNG as fuel for ships? What is bioLNG?

LNG as fuel for ships is produced from natural gas extracted from underground reserves, including both onshore and offshore gas fields.

BioLNG is LNG produced from biogas, which is generated from organic waste like food scraps, agricultural waste, manure and sewage sludge. BioLNG is considered a renewable fuel and can further reduce the carbon footprint of ships using LNG fuel systems.

 Is LNG just methane?

LNG is primarily methane (typically 85–95%), but it also contains small amounts of ethane, propane and other hydrocarbons. LNG can also contain trace amounts of nitrogen and carbon dioxide. The exact composition of LNG may vary depending on the source of the natural gas and the liquefaction process used.

 LNG fuel vs. fuel oil: is LNG better than diesel?

Compared to diesel fuel oil, LNG offers several advantages. LNG produces significantly lower emissions when burned, including:

  • 20–30% less CO2 
  • 15-25% less total GHG
  • 90% less NOx 
  • 99% less SOx 
  • Almost no particulate matter (PM) 

LNG engines are also quieter. 

However, LNG has a lower energy density than diesel, so using LNG as an alternative fuel for shipping will require more fuel and therefore larger fuel tanks to achieve the same range.

 What are the advantages and disadvantages of LNG fuel?

The key advantages of LNG as fuel include reduced emissions and cost competitiveness. There is also an established and continuously growing global network of LNG bunkering facilities.

The disadvantages of using LNG as fuel for ships include the need for specialised equipment and training and the potential for methane slip.

Methane slip is when unburned methane, a potent greenhouse gas, escapes into the atmosphere. Modern dual-fuel engines will minimise this issue. Depending on engine type and load, you can reduce methane slip by up to 65% by upgrading your ship’s existing engines. Over the last 30 years, Wärtsilä has reduced the methane slip from its engines by around 90%.

 Is LNG environmentally friendly?

LNG is cleaner burning than traditional marine fuels, but it is still a fossil fuel. BioLNG, which is LNG produced from organic waste or biomass, can be considered a more sustainable alternative to fossil-based LNG as it has a lower carbon footprint. However, the production and combustion of bioLNG still emit some greenhouse gases. LNG can be seen as a bridging fuel in the transition to alternative fuels like methanol and ammonia, which aren’t yet widely available at scale.

 Is LNG a future fuel?

LNG both is and isn’t a future fuel. It enables lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduces other harmful air pollutants compared to fuel oil, but it is still a fossil fuel. Sustainable future fuels are crucial for maritime decarbonisation, but the current cost, limited availability and insufficient infrastructure are challenging for operators. This gives LNG an important role to play in the shipping industry’s transition to a zero-carbon future.

As more ports develop LNG bunkering infrastructure and more ships are built with LNG fuel systems, the use of LNG as an alternative fuel for shipping is expected to increase. LNG is considered a stepping stone on the path to decarbonisation as the industry moves closer to using true future fuels such as methanol and ammonia.

Note: The full article by Wärtsilä can be found here.

 

Photo credit: Chris Pagan on Unsplash
Published: 24 June, 2024

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