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Singapore reaches new milestone with methanol bunkering op of “Stena Prosperous”

Blended methanol, comprising 20% ISCC-certified bio-methanol combined with conventional methanol, was supplied by MPA-licensed bunker supplier Global Energy Trading using bunker tanker “MT KARA”.

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Singapore reaches new milestone with methanol bunkering op of “Stena Prosperous”

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Friday (24 May) said Singapore is one step closer to developing its full capability to deliver methanol bunkering at a commercial scale. 

Close to 1,340 metric tonnes (MT) of blended methanol was bunkered ship-to-ship on 24 May and there will be another operation for simultaneous methanol bunkering and cargo operations for a container vessel this week. These operations will also test the use of mass flow meters (MFM) and digital bunkering.  

The blended methanol, comprising 20% ISCC-certified  bio-methanol combined with conventional methanol, was supplied by Global Energy Trading Pte Ltd, a MPA-licensed bunker supplier, using MT KARA, a dedicated IMO type II chemical bunker tanker operated by Stellar Shipmanagement Services. 

The fuel was received by the newly christened 49,900 DWT IMO II MeMAX tanker, Stena Prosperous, commercially managed by Proman, a leading methanol producer. This operation, which was completed in 7 hours, follows from the world's first ship-to-containership methanol bunkering conducted earlier in Singapore in July 2023 for the Laura Maersk during which 300 MT of bio-methanol was bunkered.

The blended methanol was supplied by Proman’s marketing arm, Valenz, and lifted at Vopak Penjuru Terminal, Singapore.

The blended methanol is reported by Proman to deliver CO2e saving of 31% on a tank-to-wake  basis compared to the same voyage operated on Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO). The use of blended methanol provides a pathway fuel for ships to meet GHG emissions limits required by Fuel EU Maritime for ships trading in the European Union and European Economic Area. 

The lifecycle emissions accounting framework is currently being discussed at the International Maritime Organization. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) expects the relevant metrics for maritime fuels, including well-to-wake, tank-to-wake, to be measurable, reportable and verifiable, and that these should be made available and updated as more information from these operations are reviewed.

The MPA-licensed bunker tanker MT Kara meets the requirements under the IMO’s International Bulk Chemical Code for the construction and equipping of ships carrying dangerous chemicals in bulk and complies with the Standards for Port Limit Bunker Tankers. 

The vessel is equipped with twin screw propulsion and a bow thruster for better manoeuvrability. Kara is also fitted with an onboard mass flow metering system, a flow boom capable of transferring bunkering hoses between vessels, and a vapour recovery line. In addition, for the safe handling of chemical cargoes such as methanol, the vessel is fitted with nitrogen bottles supplying nitrogen gas for the purging and blow through of the bunker hoses. 

Nitrogen, given its inert and stable properties, was used to fill up the remaining vapour space once the cargo is loaded, a process known as nitrogen padding, to reduce flammability risk. Finally, the vessel is equipped with Quick Connect Quick Disconnect (QCDC) and Dry Breakaway Couplings (DBC) for both liquid and vapour hose systems, to minimise leakages and enable the quick and simple disconnection of hoses in an emergency. 

MPA will study further enhancements for such tankers as part of its ongoing work to develop the methanol bunkering licensing framework and Port Limit Bunker Tanker requirements for methanol bunkering. The Technical Reference  for methanol bunkering, currently being developed, will also include the framework to govern the use of MFM and digital bunkering for methanol bunkering, taking into consideration the data gathered during this and the following operation. 

In preparation for the bunkering operation, the risk assessment, bunkering plan and checklists were jointly prepared by all the parties involved to ensure a common understanding of the safety measures and emergency protocols. Clear roles and responsibilities were also established for each agency to ensure that the operations, and emergency response, were coordinated. 

The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) set up at MPA’s Port Operations Control Centre monitored the operation, supported by a drone equipped with a volatile organic compound detector and an infrared camera to detect methanol leaks into the atmosphere and methanol flames in the event of an accidental leak. The methanol plume model, employed during the first methanol bunkering operation in July 2023, was updated to support the planning and incident response for this operation. 

As part of the training and safety preparations for the bunkering, the crew from Kara attended the MPA-approved training course for the handling of methanol as a fuel, conducted by the Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA). 

The training course, one of the first in the Asia Pacific, was launched in April 2024 and covers the operational and safety aspects of methanol bunkering operations. The course curriculum was developed by SMA according to the standards and requirements set by MPA, taking onboard the lessons learnt and best practices from the first methanol bunkering operation conducted in Singapore in July 2023. 

This is part of the operationalisation of the Maritime Energy Training Facility Initiative announced at the 2024 Singapore Maritime Week. 

Mr Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive, MPA, said: “We continue to learn and enhance MaritimeSG’s ecosystem capabilities from each bunkering operation involving new maritime fuels, in terms of developing new supply chains, enhancing infrastructure support such as terminal facilities and bunker tankers, meeting seafarer training needs, setting standards for bunkering and testing our emergency response plans.

“We thank Proman, Global Energy Group and Stellar Shipmanagement for the successful ship-to-ship bunkering of close to 1,340 MT of blended methanol. Doing so safely and efficiently is an important step towards our support to the international maritime community and complements MPA’s earlier call for expression of interest for proposals to supply methanol as a marine bunker fuel at scale in Singapore.”

David Cassidy, Chief Executive of Proman, said: “The bunkering of this 20/80 green/conventional methanol blend on Stena Prosperous represents a further step forward for methanol as a marine fuel.”

“Its cleaner burning properties, and lower greenhouse gas emissions, delivers immediate cleaner air benefits and underlines the value of using methanol blends as part of a pathway fuel strategy to a lower emission future, while helping the shipping industry to meet decarbonisation goals.”

“We were delighted to undertake this bunkering operation in Singapore after the ship’s official naming ceremony and would like to thank all parties involved for the successful collaboration.”

Munee Chow, Group Business Manager of Global Energy Group, said: “To all participating partners and personnel: Congratulations for achieving this milestone.  Being a Singapore bunker supplier of more than 30 years, this marks a memorial moment for Global Energy on our efforts towards decarbonisation.”

Kelvin Kang, General Manager, Stellar Shipmanagement, said: “With the successful execution of this large-scale methanol loading and bunkering supply operation, we have gained a deeper understanding of its operational characteristics. This valuable insight will enable us to further enhance the efficiency and safety of methanol handling in future operations.”

Stena Prosperous was officially named on 23 May at a christening ceremony held at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre, Singapore. On departing Singapore, the vessel will take its cargo to the United States of America.

Related: Methanol-fuelled tanker “Stena Prosperous” formally named in Singapore
Related: Proman Stena Bulk takes delivery of fourth methanol-fuelled tanker “Stena Prosperous”

 

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Published: 27 May 2024

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Mitsubishi Shipbuilding receives orders for Japan’s first methanol-fuelled RoRo cargo ship duo

Two ships will be built at the Enoura Plant of MHI’s Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Yamaguchi Prefecture, with scheduled completion and delivery by the end of fiscal 2027.

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Mitsubishi Shipbuilding receives orders for Japan's first methanol-fuelled RoRo cargo ship duo

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group, on Wednesday (19 June) said it has received orders from Toyofuji Shipping and Fukuju Shipping for Japan's first methanol-fueled roll-on/roll-off (RORO) cargo ships. 

The two ships will be built at the Enoura Plant of MHI's Shimonoseki Shipyard & Machinery Works in Yamaguchi Prefecture, with scheduled completion and delivery by the end of fiscal 2027.

The ships will be approximately 169.9 meters in overall length and 30.2 meters in breadth, with 15,750 gross tonnage, and loading capacity for around 2,300 passenger vehicles.

A windscreen at the bow and a vertical stem are used to reduce propulsion resistance, while fuel efficiency is improved by employing MHI's proprietary energy-saving system technology combing high-efficiency propellers and high-performance rudders with reduced resistance. 

The main engine is a high-performance dual-fuel engine that can use both methanol and A heavy fuel oil, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 10% compared to ships with the same hull and powered by fuel oil, contributing to a reduced environmental impact. 

In the future, the use of green methanol(2) may lead to further reduction in CO2 emissions, including throughout the lifecycle of the fuel. Methanol-fueled RORO ships have already entered into service as ocean-going vessels around the world, but this is the first construction of coastal vessels for service in Japan.

In addition, the significant increase in vehicle loading capacity and transport capacity per voyage compared to conventional vessels will provide greater leeway in the ship allocation schedule, securing more holiday and rest time for the crew, thereby contributing to working style reforms.

Mitsubishi Shipbuilding, to address the growing needs from the modal shift in marine transport against the backdrop of CO2 reductions in land transportation, labor shortages, and working style reforms, will continue to work with its business partners to provide solutions for a range of societal issues by building ferries and RORO vessels with excellent fuel efficiency and environmental performance that contribute to stable navigation for customers.

 

Photo credit: Mitsubishi Shipbuilding
Published: 20 June, 2024

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Maersk and Nike to christen methanol-fuelled boxship at Port of Los Angeles in August

Powered by methanol for its maiden voyage and capable of carrying more than 16,000 containers, the vessel will get its new name at a private ceremony at Port of Los Angeles Outer Harbor.

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Maersk

A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk) on Wednesday (19 June) said it will be christening one of the world’s first methanol-enabled vessels when it arrives in Los Angeles this August.

The firm invited the public to go aboard the container ship in Los Angeles.

Powered by methanol for its maiden voyage and capable of carrying more than 16,000 containers (TEU), the vessel will get its new name at a private ceremony at the Port of Los Angeles Outer Harbor on Tuesday, August 27. 

Maersk’s CEO Vincent Clerc will be on hand, alongside special guest speakers from Nike and leading state and local officials. Nike is a partner in the name-giving event.

“Nike is committed to protecting the future of sport and we leverage science-based targets to guide us through our Move to Zero journey,” said Venkatesh Alagirisamy, Nike Chief Supply Chain Officer.

“Operating one of the largest supply chains in the world, we have a responsibility to advance the innovation and use of more sustainable methods that get us closer to zero carbon and zero waste. By working with suppliers like Maersk, who share our commitment to sustainability, we are scaling our use of biofuels in ocean transportation, our main first-mile delivery channel.”

“This event is not only an opportunity to celebrate a remarkable engineering achievement, but the chance to highlight that we can navigate towards more sustainable supply chains if we work together,” said Charles van der Steene, Regional President for Maersk North America.

On Wednesday, August 28, Maersk invites the public to tour the 350-meter-long vessel, which will be sailing from Asia. Visitors will be able to see the Sailors’ living quarters and even stand on the bridge from where the captain controls the vessel. Public tours will require visitors register for a free ticket via an online registration site that will be activated and announced in August.

This is the fifth container vessel in Maersk’s fleet that can sail on green methanol bunker fuel.

 

Photo credit: A.P. Moller – Maersk
Published: 20 June, 2024

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Methanol Institute: Innovative developments and strategic collaborations (Week 24, 10-16 June 2024)

This week highlights notable advancements in methanol fuel technology, strategic partnerships, and industry analyses, underscoring the maritime sector’s ongoing commitment to sustainable fuel solutions.

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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:

The past week saw further additions to the potential capacity for production of methanol with announcement of a new facility using waste biomass to create biomethanol for the maritime market. Elsewhere, plans for additional port storage was announced at key ports in China. Finally, analysis by Ship & bunker shows that almost half of the bunker capacity represented by the newbuilding orderbook will be powered by alternative fuels.

Methanol marine fuel related developments for Week 24 of 2024:

Norway to Develop Bio-e-Methanol Production Facility

Date: June 10, 2024

Key Points: Glocal Green and Norwegian Hydrogen are partnering to build a bio-e-methanol plant in Øyer, Gudbrandsdalen, Norway. The facility will produce 150,000 metric tonnes of bio-e-methanol annually, using hydrogen and CO2 from bio-waste and wood waste. The project aims to support the maritime sector's transition to green fuels, leveraging local renewable resources to create sustainable methanol, thus contributing to Norway's environmental goals and the broader global push for cleaner energy solutions.

Green Marine Fuels and Vopak Collaborate on Green Methanol Storage Facilities

Date: June 12, 2024

Key Points: Green Marine Fuels Trading and Vopak have announced a strategic partnership to develop green methanol storage facilities at key ports, including Shanghai Caojing and Tianjin Lingang in China. This collaboration aims to expand the infrastructure needed to support the growing demand for green methanol as a sustainable marine fuel. The facilities will enhance the supply chain for green methanol, aligning with global efforts to decarbonize the shipping industry and promote the use of alternative fuels.

Global Orderbook Analysis: Conventional vs. Alternative Bunker Fuel Demand

Date: June 13, 2024

Key Points: An analysis of the global newbuilding orderbook, conducted by Ship and Bunker, reveals that of a total 33.8 million tonnes (mt) of bunker demand, alternative fuelled ships represent 46% or 15.6mt of bunker demand.

Methanol accounts for 3.2 mt (10%) compared to 10.5mt (31%) for LNG, a figure skewed by the vast orderbook for LNG carriers which partly use their cargo as fuel.

The data from DNV Alternative Fuels Insight indicates a significant shift towards alternative fuels, driven by containerships and LNG carriers, reflecting the maritime industry's continuing focus on reducing carbon emissions and adopting greener fuel options.

 

Photo credit: Methanol Institute
Published: 20 June, 2024

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