Marine Methanol Future-Proof Shipping Fuel

MI has published the first comprehensive guide* to methanol as a marine fuel. As the shipping industry continues its transition towards net carbon-neutral operations, owners are increasingly choosing methanol as a fuel that can help them progressively reduce emissions in line with regulatory targets.

‘MARINE METHANOL Future-Proof Shipping Fuel’ has been produced to help stakeholders across the industry access the information they need to support decision-making on which alternative fuel is right for their fleet.

Sections of the report address regulatory drivers, environmental performance, engines and fuel systems, bunkering, handling and safety characteristics, costs and pricing, availability, and feedstocks for conventional and renewable products. Also included are case studies on first movers, including AP Moller-Maersk, Waterfront Shipping, Proman Stena Bulk, and the conversion of ropax ferry Stena Germanica.

Methanol Fueled Pilot Boat

FASTWATER Consortium and the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) successfully demonstrated a pilot boat that has been converted to operate on Methanol fuel. The demonstration in Stockholm Harbour follows the successful bunkering of the vessel at the SMA pilot station in Oxelösund, Sweden, where the pilot boat will be based.

Methanol Vessels On the Water and On the Way!

Methanol-fueled vessels are on the water today, and more are on the way.  The Methanol Institute tracks global methanol vessel announcements, which are highlighted here. 

Beginning with the launch of the Stena Germanica in 2015 and the introduction of 11 chemical tankers by Methanex Waterfront Shipping in 2016-2019, and now MI member CMA CGM order of six 15,000 TEU dualfuel methanol-powered containerships, and Ocean Network Express (ONE) shipbuilding contracts with Hyundai Heavy Industries and Nihon Shipyard to construct five 13,700 teu vessels each, all for delivery in 2025.

As you will see here, there is a broad range of methanol-fueled vessels including pilot boats, tug/push boats, ferries, cruise ships, superyachts, crew transfer vessels, lift and multi-purpose ships.  We also see more methanol-compatible engines from the major OEMs, vessel designs, and class society approvals.

Ports with Available Methanol Storage Capacity

In 2020, the Methanol Institute confirmed that methanol is already available in more than 100 ports around the globe and that 47 of those ports have storage facilities in excess of 50,000 metric tons. Infiniti Research analyzed information from an initial 56 ports known to store methanol and requested information on their readiness to supply the fuel for maritime bunkering. The company also identified a further 66 ports where the storage of Methanol was already taking place.

Methanol: An Emerging Marine Fuel

Methanol is a simple, safe liquid fuel, miscible in water, and is plentiful, available globally, price competitive to MGO. It works with existing engine technologies as a drop-in or a dual fuel. It also complies with IMO2020 providing a pathway to IMO 2030 and 2050. It requires only minor modifications to current bunkering infrastructure. Read the presentation to see more benefits of using methanol as a marine fuel. 

For additional information on Methanol as a Marine Fuel, visit our additional resources page.