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Singapore: Equatorial Marine Fuel builds four “new generation” methanol-ready bunker tankers

The four bunker tankers can be powered by net-zero fuels and are scheduled to arrive at the republic across 2024 and 2025. These IMO Type II Chemical and Oil Tankers will be capable of carrying methanol and biofuels (up to B100 blends).




EMF and shipyard team

Singapore bunker supplier Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services (EMF) confirmed that it will be building two additional 7,999 dwt IMO Type II Chemical and Oil Tankers that will be used as bunker tankers at the Port of Singapore, learned Manifold Times.

Earlier in December 2022, EMF placed an order for two similar newbuildings at Zhejiang Shenzhou Sunshine Heavy Industry Co., Ltd.; the first two units are scheduled for delivery in Q4 2024 while the remaining two will arrive at the republic by Q2 2025.

“We made a calculated decision to build two units followed by another two based on our fleet renewal and replacement program,” said Choong Sheen Mao, Director of EMF.

“While the market share of alternative marine fuels is projected to increase, the CO2 emission factor or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of such fuels will be even lower than what we are commonly seeing today. Presently, conventional bunker tankers in Singapore are only allowed to carry and deliver biofuel blends of up to 25%. As such, a “new generation” of bunker tankers is required to carry lower-carbon marine fuels such as biofuel (above 25% blends) and green methanol.

“The newbuildings are compatible with net-zero fuels, and can consume pure biodiesel (B100) as their fuel when operating in port. This enables us, as shipowners too, to comply with upcoming environmental regulations. We will also effectively be reducing our customers’ Scope 3 emissions.”

“The time frame for our fleet renewal is ideal as it puts us in a position to be ready to handle lower-carbon fuels while addressing our current tonnage requirements.”

Mr Choong notes the cargo tanks of the bunker tankers are coated with a phenolic epoxy compound. Essentially, the newbuildings are constructed to IMO Type II Chemical and Oil Tanker specifications allowing for the transportation and delivery of methanol and biofuel of up to B100 content in addition to conventional marine fuels.

EMF bunker tanker hull

So Kah Meng, Sustainable Energy Manager of EMF, shares: “We encountered several challenges including meeting the additional technical specifications related to safe methanol bunkering.”

“As such, there must be specialised detectors for methanol fire and suitable types of firefighting apparatus onboard the new bunker tankers. Crew working onboard these vessels will be adequately trained in handling the equipment.

“Our active participation in various methanol study and working groups have allowed us to gain critical knowledge in addressing these key issues.”

According to Mr Choong, EMF anticipates that biofuels and methanol to be increasing their market share in the coming years, hence new supporting infrastructure and services will be required.

“As a leading bunker supplier in Singapore, Equatorial has to be dynamic in making sustainable business decisions for providing different types of marine fuels and decarbonisation solutions,” he said.

“The global order book currently indicates more than 200 methanol-fuelled vessels entering the shipping market; this data has supported our decision to construct a new generation of bunker tankers to deliver methanol and various types of marine fuels.

Moving forward, Mr Choong is confident that Singapore will continue to be a leading maritime and bunkering hub.

“Equatorial has been proactively participating in various types of consortiums, innovative initiatives led by numerous maritime related partners that are driving the development of alternative marine fuel supply chains in Singapore,” he highlights.

“We foresee more alternative marine fuel bunkering trials taking place over the next 2 to 3 years that will continue to place Singapore as the leading bunkering hub for all types of marine fuels.”

Related: DNV: Methanol-fuelled order trend continues, with first ammonia DF newbuilding contracts recorded in Oct
Related: Singapore: Equatorial Marine Fuel, CMS, SGTraDex link decarbonisation and digitalisation solutions in milestone bunker transaction
Related: Singapore: Equatorial Marine Fuel boosts sustainable marine fuel supply business with biofuel delivery to OOCL containership
Related: Singapore: Equatorial Marine Fuel launches sustainable energy business unit, commits towards multi-fuel future

Photo credit: Equatorial Marine Fuel Management Services
Published: 22 November 2023

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Singapore: Vitol Bunkers takes delivery of specialised biofuel bunker barge “Marine Future”

New vessel will uniquely make it possible to supply biofuel blends including B24, B30 and up to B100; can also be re-configured in future to supply methanol bunker fuel.





Singapore: Vitol Bunkers takes delivery of specialised biofuel bunker barge “Marine Future”

Singapore-based marine fuel supplier Vitol Bunkers on Thursday (22 February) said it has taken delivery of the Marine Future, its first specialised bunker barge in Singapore, strengthening its position in Asia’s expanding biofuel bunker market.

The addition of this specialised IMO type 2 notation bunker tanker to the V-Bunkers fleet will uniquely make it possible to supply biofuel blends including B24, B30 and up to B100, depending on customer specifications.

Built in China, Marine Future is 102.6m in length and has the capacity to carry about 7,000 MT of biofuels.

“The current fleet of bunker tankers in Singapore are classified as ‘oil tankers’ and are therefore restricted to a maximum of 25% bio component in biofuel blends. This new bunker tanker has no such restriction, hence can deliver bunker fuels consisting of 100% bio component (B100),” the firm said in a statement.

“Biofuels are a key pathway for the hard-to-abate shipping sector to mitigate emissions. Biofuel sales in Singapore reached 520,000 tonnes in 2023 according to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), representing a material increase on the prior year where volumes were 140,000 tonnes.”

“We are delighted to now be able to offer our maritime customers the option to take up to 100% bio component bunker fuel here in Singapore and play our part in advancing the port’s decarbonisation efforts. Should there be demand, this vessel can also be re-configured in future to supply methanol” said Mike Muller, head of Vitol Asia.

Related: Vitol targets Singapore for Asia biofuel growth with bunker barges arrival in 2024
Related: Vitol chooses ZeroNorth e-BDN solution in Singapore


Photo credit: Vitol
Published: 22 February, 2024

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CMB.TECH orders world’s first ammonia-powered container ship from Chinese shipyard

Firm partnered with Yara and North Sea Container Line for order; vessel to be named “Yara Eyde” is a 1.400 TEU ice-class container ship to be built at Qingdao Yangfan Shipbuilding.





CMB.TECH orders world’s first ammonia-powered container ship from China shipyard

Cleantech maritime group CMB.TECH on Monday (12 February) announced the order of the world’s first ammonia-powered container vessel in partnership with Yara Clean Ammonia, North Sea Container Line and Yara International through a 15-year deal.

The vessel, to be named Yara Eyde, is a 1.400 TEU ice-class container ship to be built at Qingdao Yangfan Shipbuilding (Qingdao, China). Expected to be delivered by mid-2026, the Yara Eyde is set to become the world’s first ammonia-powered container vessel. It will run on clean ammonia, serving routes between Norway and Germany.

The vessel will be owned by Delphis, the container division of CMB.TECH and operated by NCL Oslofjord AS, a joint venture between North Sea Container Line and Yara Clean Ammonia. The commercial operations will be managed by NCL’s existing set-up while Yara Clean Ammonia will deliver ammonia fuel to the vessel. 

The joint venture has secured a long-term CoA with Yara International for the freight of containers between Yara’s fertiliser plant in Porsgrunn, Norway and Hamburg and Bremerhaven in Germany. It is their aim to become the world’s first line operator to focus exclusively on ammonia-powered ships.

NCL Oslofjord chose to partner with CMB.TECH for its expertise in hydrogen and ammonia engines. This innovative project is an important milestone for the decarbonisation of shipping and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Europe, demonstrating that clean ammonia can provide cost-effective and environmentally friendly maritime transport.

Alexander Saverys, CEO of CMB.TECH, said: "We are delighted to partner up with Yara and NCL to build the world’s first ammonia-powered container ship.”

“Yara, NCL and CMB.TECH are walking the talk to decarbonise shipping by combining our knowhow on clean ammonia, operational excellence in the North Sea and state-of-the-art low-carbon ships. We want to prove to the world that we can decarbonise today to navigate tomorrow.”

Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President Yara Clean Ammonia, said: "Uniting forward-thinking entities, this project accelerates the development of a zero-emission supply chain for Scandinavia and Northwest Europe's container shipments.”

“It's the first of its kind globally, demonstrating clean ammonia's potential to decarbonise the maritime industry. We are excited about our joint partnership with CMB.TECH, a major player in shipping and a leader in developing new fuel technologies.”

Bente Hetland, CEO of NCL, said: "With their extensive experience with hydrogen-based fuels, CMB.TECH was the ideal partner for this unique project. We are extremely impressed with the innovative culture in CMB.TECH and their dedication to making an impact.”

“The project proves that decarbonisation is possible today, and we are confident that the project will pave the way for clean ammonia as a dominating fuel in the industry.”

Related: Euronav to fully acquire cleantech maritime group CMB.TECH 


Photo credit: CMB.TECH
Published: 22 February, 2024

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Unifeeder Group to add methanol-capable container feeder duo to European network

Latest agreement is in partnership with German-based ship owning group Elbdeich Reederei and Norwegian shipowner MPC Container Ships, who are responsible for one vessel each.





Unifeeder Group to add methanol-capable container feeder duo to European network

Unifeeder Group on Monday (19 February) said it successfully completed a long-term charter agreement for two additional methanol-capable container feeder vessels. 

This follows the agreement for two initial vessels announced in October 2023. 

The latest agreement is in partnership with German-based ship owning group Elbdeich Reederei and Norwegian shipowner MPC Container Ships (MPCC), who are responsible for one vessel each. The 1,250 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) vessels, scheduled for delivery in 2026, will be deployed on Unifeeder’s European network.

The addition of these new vessels reinforces the group’s ongoing efforts to reduce emissions across its network. Simultaneously, Unifeeder is enhancing fuel efficiency throughout the fleet while increasing the utilisation of bio bunker fuels in its conventional vessels.

In alignment with its parent company, DP World, Unifeeder collaborates with industry partners to address the challenge of renewable methanol supply. This requires off-take commitments to establish production at the scale needed to replace conventional fossil fuels within the industry.

Jesper Kristensen, Group CEO of Unifeeder Group, said: “Building upon our commitment to methanol-powered vessels last year, this marks another significant stride towards the green transformation of our fleet and operations.”

“We anticipate the vessels to enter into operation in the next two years, advancing our steadfast commitment to sustainable solutions. We offer our customers alternatives that align with their sustainability journeys while making meaningful progress towards our own ambitious decarbonisation goals.”

The investment in the two new additional ships further supports Unifeeder Group’s decarbonisation plan. Surpassing the industry average, Unifeeder has committed to a 25% reduction of emissions by 2030 and to reach net-zero by 2050 with no new fossil greenhouse gas emissions. 

It aims to achieve this by emphasising fuel-efficient practices, regular maintenance and refitting processes of the existing fleet and fostering a culture of learning and collaboration, sharing best practices across markets to drive effective carbon reduction strategies.

Related: Unifeeder inks time-charter deal for up to four methanol powered vessels


Photo credit: Unifeeder Group
Published: 20 February, 2024

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