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World’s first methanol-ready icebreaker proceeds to construction stage

Decision to construct at least two new icebreakers for Sweden was made in December 2022; first vessel is planned to be delivered in 2026 and the second about a year later.





The Aker ARC 130 S design for the world’s first methanol-ready icebreaker in the world has been finalised in close co-operation with the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) and optimised for Sweden’s icebreaking needs, according to Aker Arctic on Tuesday (21 February). 

Selection of shipyard

The decision to construct at least two new icebreakers for Sweden was made in December 2022. The first vessel is planned to be delivered in 2026 and the second about a year later.

Currently, SMA is evaluating shipyards which would have the expertise and possibility to build the vessels. This assessment should be ready in February 2023.

“After that, we can send out requests for tenders and continue the dialogue with our shortlist of shipyards,” said Dan Broström, project manager at SMA. 

“We aim to sign the agreement in September 2023 and begin construction preparations immediately.”

Methanol chosen as fuel

The initial concept was prepared with the possibility of adapting the design for various alternative fuels. After Sweden selected renewable methanol as the future non-fossil fuel of its next-generation icebreakers, the design was finalised to consider the special requirements of methanol fuel and to maximise achievable autonomy time during assistance icebreaking operations.

“Currently, the plan is to build the icebreaker initially for fossil-free renewable diesel oil (hydrotreated vegetable oil; HVO) with readiness to adopt methanol fuel as soon as the technology has matured and fuel availability is secured,” Broström outlines. “The harbour generators will use methanol-based MD97 fuel from the start.”

However, since engine manufacturers are working tirelessly to advance the technology as fast as possible and various bio- and e-methanol plant projects are progressing in Sweden, it might well be feasible to build the icebreakers directly for biomethanol use.

Technical pioneers

The Swedish icebreakers will be the first methanol-ready and potentially the first methanol-fuelled icebreakers in the world. This continues the trend with the Baltic icebreakers as technical pioneers, the previous one being Finnish icebreaker Polaris, the world’s first LNG-fuelled icebreaker.

When the project began, Polaris and two Russian icebreakers, Aleksandr Sannikov and Andrey Vilkitsky, had recently been commissioned, all being part of the Aker ARC 130 family of icebreaker designs developed by Aker Arctic.

“We could benefit from the previous designs and develop them further,” says Mikael Sandström, Master mariner, nautical expert at SMA, who has been in charge of overseeing the technical details.


Photo credit: Aker Arctic
Published: 24 February, 2023

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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.






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.






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.





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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