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World-unique methanol bunkering operation carried out in the Port of Gothenburg

Methanol propelled vessel ‘Stena Germanica’ becomes the first non-tanker vessel in the world to be bunkered with methanol in a ship-to-ship refuelling operation.

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Port of Gothenburg methanol bunkering

The methanol propelled vessel Stena Germanica on Monday (23 January) became the first non-tanker vessel in the world to be bunkered with methanol in a ship-to-ship refuelling operation conducted by bunker tanker Stolt Sandpiper in the Port of Gothenburg.

“This is a door-opening demonstration, proving that there is a feasible way to handle ship to ship methanol bunkering,” said Christoffer Lillhage, Senior Business Development Manager Energy at the Gothenburg Port Authority.

“This strengthens our position as a bunker hub and is also showcasing for other ports that this can be done in a safe and efficient way – not only here, but in other ports around the world as well.

“The key to success is working together over the full value chain to find a pragmatic and safe approach for implementing bunker procedures for methanol. In the end it will contribute to the industry’s goal to decarbonize shipping at large.”

The bunkered ship was Stena Line's ro-ro and passenger vessel Stena Germanica, which until now has been bunkering methanol solely from trucks.

“The Stena Germanica, connecting Gothenburg, Sweden with Kiel, Germany, became the world’s first methanol-powered ferry when Stena Line converted the 240-meter vessel in 2015 in partnership with Methanex, Wärtsilä, the Port of Gothenburg and the Port of Kiel,” noted Maria Tornvall, Head of Sustainability at Stena Line.

“We welcome ship to ship bunkering as a tool to achieve a stable and efficient supply chain for methanol which is critical in Stena Line’s shift to alternative fuels and to retain our position as a leader in sustainable shipping.”

Collaborative process

The historic bunkering was made possible by a number of different stakeholders collaborating through the whole process. Operating regulations for methanol bunkering is a prerequisite that the Port of Gothenburg was the first in the world to publish in April 2022.

Stena Line is the owner of the vessel in question and the purchaser of the methanol. The tanker operator E&S carried out the bunkering itself in practice, and methanol producer and supplier Methanex provided the fuel.

“As the world’s largest producer and supplier of methanol, we’re pleased to continue our collaboration with Stena Line to demonstrate that methanol is a leading alternative, cleaner burning, future-proof marine fuel,” said Karine Delbarre, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing & Logistics at Methanex.

“This first ship to ship methanol bunkering for a non-tanker, leveraging our partners E&S Tankers and Port of Gothenburg, is further evidence that methanol is globally available, safe to ship, store and handle using procedures similar to those for conventional marine fuels.”

Rapidly growing demand for methanol

Methanol as a marine fuel has positive environmental and climate properties and is making strong progress in international shipping. For example, the world's largest container shipping company Maersk Line has 19 larger methanol propelled container ships on order. X-Press Feeders is another major player that will start launching eight methanol propelled vessels already this year, and many other shipping companies are placing new methanol vessels in the order books.

The Port of Gothenburg has a long history of advocating and facilitating alternative fuels in the transition to greener shipping. A mix of alternative fuels is required, where methanol is a key component.

“We want to establish the Port of Gothenburg as the primary bunkering hub for alternative marine fuels in northern Europe. Today we are one step closer to that goal and we are ready to receive more methanol vessels,” said Christoffer Lillhage.

Related: Gothenburg Port Authority publishes methanol operating regulations for ship-to-ship bunkering
Related: KSOE clinches USD 1.15 billion deal with Maersk to build its six 17,000 TEU methanol-fuelled container ships
Related: Alfa Laval to provide fuel supply system for six methanol-fuelled container vessels
Related: China: Gloryholder to supply methanol fuel supply system for six dual fuel container vessels

 

Photo credit: Port of Gothenburg Authority
Published: 26 January, 2023

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Biofuel

GCMD concludes its final biofuel blend supply chain trial with Hapag-Lloyd

bp provided the B30 biofuel blend to the “TIHAMA”, a 19,870 TEU container vessel operated by Hapag-Lloyd in final trial; marks the end of a series of trials initiated in July 2022.

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GCMD concludes its final biofuel blend supply chain trial with Hapag-Lloyd

The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) on Thursday (18 July) said it has successfully completed its final supply chain trial for biofuel blended with very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO). 

This marks the end of a series of trials initiated in July 2022 as part of a larger pilot to develop a framework to provide quality, quantity and GHG abatement assurances for drop-in fuels.

In this final trial, bp provided the B30 biofuel blend to the TIHAMA, a 19,870 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container vessel operated by Hapag-Lloyd.

The biofuel component used is certified to the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) standard – a multistakeholder certification scheme for biobased materials. The biofuel component comprised neat Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) produced from food waste.

Authentix, a tracer solutions provider, supplied and dosed the FAME with an organic-based tracer at the storage terminal outside the Netherlands. The dosed FAME was then transported to the Port of Rotterdam for blending with VLSFO to achieve a B30 blend, before the blend was bunkered onboard the TIHAMA.

Similar to previous trials, GCMD engaged fuel testing company Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) to witness the operations at all stages – from biofuel cargo transfer to bunkering. VPS also collected and conducted extensive laboratory tests on samples of the biofuel and biofuel blend collected at pre-determined points along the supply chain to assess quality per Standards EN 14214 and ISO 8217.

With well-to-wake emissions of 13.74 gCO2e/MJ, the neat FAME presented a 85.4% emissions reduction compared to the emissions of the fossil marine fuel. The reduced emissions complies with the MEPC 80, which requires a minimum emissions reduction of 65% in order for biofuels to be classified as sustainable.

GCMD and Hapag-Lloyd determined that consumption of the 4,500 MT B30 blend of FAME and VLSFO resulted in 27.9% emissions reduction compared to sailing on VLSFO.

A newly developed tracer deployed with this supply chain

GCMD collaborated with Authentix to develop and deploy a new organic-based tracer to authenticate the origin and verify the amount of FAME present in the blend. The proprietary tracer blended homogeneously with FAME and was detected at expected concentrations at all sampling points along the supply chain.

This trial marks the first deployment of this tracer in a marine fuel supply chain. Previously, similar tracers were used to authenticate and quantify biofuels in road transport and LPG supply chains.

Development of a comprehensive biofuels assurance framework underway

With the completion of this trial, GCMD has deployed a diverse range of tracer technologies, including synthetic DNA and element-based tracers, in addition to the organic-based tracer used in this trial. The trials have also included the development of a chemical fingerprinting methodology and the evaluation of lock-and-seal and automatic identification systems (AIS) as additional solutions to ensure the integrity of the biofuels supply chain.

Learnings on tracer limitations and benefits will be incorporated into a framework that recommends appropriate use to ensure consistent and robust performance. This effort will complement existing ISCC by providing additional supply chain assurance through physical traceability.

The insights from these trials will be shared in a series of reports covering issues, such as traceability, biofuel degradation, supply chain optimisation and abatement costs. These findings will culminate in a comprehensive assurance framework to provide guidance on biofuels use, slated for release in the fourth quarter of 2024.

 

Photo credit: Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation
Published: 19 July 2024

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Ammonia

MPA, ITOCHU and partners sign MoU on ammonia-fuelled bulk carriers study

As a government agency, MPA,will review and provide their views to the designs of the ammonia-fuelled ships to ensure their safe operations, says ClassNK.

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RESIZED venti views

Classification society ClassNK on Thursday (18 July) said it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ITOCHU Corporation, Nihon Shipyard Co., Ltd., and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) regarding a joint study for the design and safety specifications of ammonia-fuelled ships which are under development by ITOCHU and partners.

“The discussion for a specification of ammonia-fuelled ships with a governmental body related to their operation is essential for a social implementation of ammonia-fuelled ships,” ClassNK said. 

“As one of parties of the MoU, MPA, a government agency overseeing the world’s busiest bunkering hub, will review and provide their views to the designs of the ammonia-fuelled ships to ensure their safe operations.”

The MoU is based on the premise that 200,000 deadweight ton class bulk carriers will be built by Nihon Shipyard with an ammonia dual-fuelled engine.

“The necessary clarifications of the specification for the ammonia-fueled ship to carry out ammonia bunkering in Singapore will be conducted among parties of this MoU, for the commercialisation of ammonia-fuelled ships,” ClassNK added.

 

Photo credit: Venti Views on Unsplash
Published: 19 July 2024

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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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Methanol Institute logo

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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