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Alternative Fuels

Svitzer, Robert Allan to design world’s first methanol hybrid fuel cell tug

Tug will use an electrical propulsion system with methanol fuel cells and batteries; secondary methanol fuelled generators will provide backup power if required without need for a secondary bunker fuel.

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Svitzer, a global towage provider and part of A.P. Moller-Maersk, on Thursday (17 August) announced the launch of the second phase of its project to design the world’s first methanol hybrid fuel cell (MHFC) tug.  

Svitzer said it conducted technical studies to establish the feasibility of this type of vessel accommodating the real-world operational requirements of a tug. Work will now begin between Svitzer and leading naval architect company, Robert Allan Ltd. to design the world’s first methanol hybrid fuel cell (MHFC) tug. 

“The next phase will include work to complete the vessel design, scope considerations for vessel construction, and onboard equipment selection necessary to build the vessel,” the firm said in a statement. 

The MHFC tug will use an electrical propulsion system with methanol fuel cells and batteries delivering a self-sustained tug with longer endurance and fewer operational constraints than a purely battery-powered vessel. Secondary methanol fuelled generators will provide backup power if required without the need for a secondary fuel. 

Calculations indicate that the MHFC tug running on green methanol would prevent approximately 1,300 tonnes of CO2 annually from being emitted into the atmosphere, compared to fossil-fuel-based vessels of the same dimensions within Svitzer’s global fleet.  

The design of the MHFC tug will be a joint project between Svitzer and Robert Allan Ltd. using Svitzer’s TRAnsverse tug design as the platform. Svitzer will look to forge partnerships with other companies to finalise the selection of onboard equipment, such as the batteries and fuel cell system, and to support construction once the design phase is complete. 

Gareth Prowse, Head of Decarbonisation at Svitzer, said: “We’re excited to enter the next phase of delivering the world’s first methanol hybrid fuel cell tug. This project is a major milestone in Svitzer’s commitment to the decarbonisation of our global fleet and demonstrates our ability to harness new technologies and alternative fuels to deliver innovations that will have a significant, positive impact on shipping’s road to net zero.” 

“The combination of fuel cell technology and green methanol will result in improved operational efficiencies, resulting in less fuel consumption and lower emissions. We’re delighted to be collaborating with Robert Allan Ltd. to design the MHFC tug and look forward to bringing on new partners to construct the vessel which will operate at the Port of Gothenburg in Sweden.”  

The MHFC is expected to enter operations in the second half of 2025 at the Port of Gothenburg in Sweden, where methanol is the low-carbon alternative fuel of choice. 

Göran Eriksson, Port of Gothenburg CEO, said: "The Port of Gothenburg has set ambitious targets to reduce shipping emissions within the port area by 70% by 2030. To deliver on that ambition, the transition of shipping lines from fossil fuels to more sustainable fuels such as green methanol is critically important.”

“Svitzer's decision to design and construct the world's first methanol hybrid fuel cell tug is a major milestone which sets the example for the long-term decarbonisation of global towage services. We're excited to welcome this pioneering new vessel to the Port of Gothenburg when it enters into operation in 2025.” 

Mathias Jonasson, Managing Director for Scandinavia & Germany at Svitzer, said: “Svitzer has been delivering safe and efficient towage services to customers in the Port of Gothenburg for decades. In addition to its ambitious emission reduction targets, the Port of Gothenburg has already gathered valuable experiences regarding the safe and convenient bunkering of methanol. The port’s experience and position as an emerging methanol bunker hub, combined with our long-standing collaboration and relationship, makes the Port of Gothenburg an obvious location for us to deploy the world’s first methanol hybrid fuel cell tug.” 

Jim Hyslop Director, Project Development Principle at Robert Allan Ltd., said: “Robert Allan Ltd. is excited to be working with Svitzer to develop the world’s first Methanol Hybrid Fuel Cell Tug. Based on the award-winning TRAnsverse design, the innovative propulsion system on this new tug will enable operation completely free of fossil fuels. This is a major step forward in the path to decarbonising the tug industry, and we are extremely proud to be at the forefront of developments in these new technologies.”

 

Photo credit: Svitzer
Published: 18 August, 2023

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Newbuilding

Singapore: EPS orders ammonia, LNG dual-fuel vessels from China

EPS signed one contract for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International.

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Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) on Wednesday (28 February) said it signed two new contract orders in a signing ceremony in Shanghai, one for a series of ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers with CSSC Beihai Shipbuilding and another for a series of LNG dual-fuel oil tankers with CSSC Guangzhou Shipbuilding International. 

The contracts signed cover four 210,000 dwt ammonia dual-fuel bulk carriers and two 111,000 dwt LNG dual-fuel LR2 oil tankers, expanding our fleet of green vessels on water. 

“These are pivotal for EPS, testament to our continued commitment towards the decarbonisation of shipping,” EPS said in a social media post.

Manifold Times recently reported EPS signing a contract for its first ever wind-assisted propulsion system, partnering with bound4blue to install three 22-metre eSAILs® onboard the Pacific Sentinel

The turnkey ‘suction sail’ technology, which drags air across an aerodynamic surface to generate exceptional propulsive efficiency, will be fitted later this year, helping the 183-metre, 50,000 DWT oil and chemical tanker reduce overall energy consumption by approximately 10%, depending on vessel routing.

Related: Singapore: EPS orders its first wind-assisted propulsion system for tanker

 

Photo credit: Eastern Pacific Shipping
Published: 1 March 2024

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LNG Bunkering

Malaysia: Port of Tanjung Pelepas completes first LNG bunkering operation

Landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs containership operated by French shipping giant CMA CGM.

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Port of Tanjung Pelepas Sdn Bhd (PTP), a joint venture between MMC Group and APM Terminals, on Wednesday (28 February) announced a significant milestone with the successful completion of its first Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) bunkering operation. 

The landmark event involved the CMA CGM Monaco, a 14,024 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) capacity containership operated by French shipping giant, CMA CGM.

Tan Sri Che Khalib Mohamad Noh, Chairman of PTP in a statement remarked this latest milestone demonstrates PTP’s commitment to continuously enhance its competitive advantages in an increasingly competitive global market.

“The successful completion of our first LNG bunkering operation also underscores our unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmental leadership. We are proud to partner with Petronas Trading Corporation Sendirian Berhad (PETCO) and CMA CGM on this initiative and showcase PTP’s capabilities as a leading facilitator of clean and efficient maritime operations.”

“This milestone paves the way for further growth in LNG bunkering at PTP, contributing significantly to the decarbonisation of the maritime industry.”

Commenting on this achievement, Mark Hardiman, Chief Executive Officer of PTP stated this latest milestone further highlights PTP’s position as the largest transshipment hub terminal in Malaysia.

“In preparation for the LNG bunkering operation, PTP worked closely since March 2022 with PETCO and CMA CGM, as well as with various other related government agencies to organise table-top exercises (TTX) and workshops, before carrying out the deployment exercise.”

“The success of the bunkering operation is a result of the seamless collaboration and preparations involving rigorous safety procedures through in-depth operational and risk assessments, modelling, and validation. We thank PETCO, CMA CGM all other involved parties for their joint efforts in operationalising the bunkering capability and we welcome partners to work with us to accelerate maritime decarbonisation,” said Hardiman.

Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) is Malaysia’s largest transshipment hub with the capacity to handle 13 million TEUs annually. The port delivers reliable, efficient, and advanced services to major shipping lines and box operators, providing shippers in Malaysia and abroad with extensive connectivity to the global market. PTP is currently ranked 15th among the world top container ports.

 

Photo credit: Port of Tanjung Pelepas
Published: 1 March 2024

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Alternative Fuels

Wallenius Wilhelmsen to order four additional methanol DF PCTCs

Newbuilds will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.

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Wallenius Wilhelmsen PCTC order

Roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen on Tuesday (27 February) declared options to build four additional next-generation Shaper Class pure car and truck carrier (PCTC) vessels.

The 9,300 CEU methanol dual fuel vessels can utilise alternative fuel sources, such as methanol, upon delivery. They will also be ammonia-ready and able to be converted as soon as ammonia becomes available in a safe and secure way.

“Together with our customers we are committed to further shaping our industry and accelerating towards net zero. These new vessels are a vital part of that journey,” says Xavier Leroi, EVP & COO Shipping Services.

This latest commitment brings the total number of Shaper Class vessels currently on order with Jinling Shipyard (Jiangsu) to eight. Wallenius Wilhelmsen also retains further options.

The first of the Shaper Class vessels already ordered are expected to be delivered in the second half of 2026. The four additional vessels under the declared options will be delivered between May and November 2027.

 

Photo credit: Wallenius Wilhelmsen
Published: 1 March 2024

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