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First ocean-going vessels that can run on methanol to be delivered this month

The first three of seven 50,000 dead weight tonne (DWT) vessels capable of running on methanol are to be delivered at the end of this month, with the remaining four to be delivered by October 2016. These seven ocean-going vessels are built with the first-of-its kind MAN B&W ME-LGI 2-stroke dual fuel engines that can run on methanol, fuel oil, marine diesel oil, or gas oil.

This groundbreaking ship technology will significantly reduce emissions while giving ship owners a viable, efficient and convenient fuel alternative. With the growing demand for cleaner marine fuel to meet environmental regulations, methanol is a promising alternative fuel for ships that can meet the industry’s increasingly stringent emissions regulations. Methanol is a biodegradable, clean-burning marine fuel that reduces smog-causing emissions such as particulates, sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides.

“Working with our partners to advance new, clean technology is an important and innovative step in the right direction. Investing in methanol-based marine fuel reinforces our commitment to invest in sustainable technology that not only provides environmental benefits but also an economically viable alternative marine fuel. The cost to build new and convert existing vessels to run on methanol is significantly less than alternate fuel conversions,” said Jone Hognestad, president, Waterfront Shipping Co. Ltd. (WFS).

Waterfront Shipping will charter the seven vessels to replace older vessels and expand its fleet. Two of the vessels are owned by Westfal-Larsen Management (WL), two vessels are jointly owned by Marinvest/Skagerack Invest (Marinvest) and WFS, and the remaining three vessels are owned by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL).

The ships were built by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard and Minaminippon Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.

“MAN developed these 2-stroke engines in response to interest from the shipping world to operate on alternatives to heavy fuel oil and meet increasingly stringent emissions regulations. To hedge the risk of fuel price volatility, the vessels can switch between fuels, and operate cost-effectively,” said Ole Grøne, senior vice president, head of Marketing and Sales, MAN Diesel & Turbo.

The traditional ship naming ceremony for two of the dual vessels owned by WL, with the second as a joint venture with WFS/Marinvest, will take place in South Korea on April 18. Delivery will occur at at the end of the month.

“This investment is very much aligned with our vision and leadership to supply safe and environmentally friendly transports. The ability to run on a sulphur-free fuel offers great potential and provides innovative solutions for the world’s energy needs,” said Patrik Mossberg, chairman, Marinvest.

“To be one of the shipping companies helping to lead this effort makes sense for our business. It’s great to be part of an innovative solution,” said Rolf Westfal-Larsen, president and CEO, Westfal-Larsen Management.

MOL will take delivery of its dual-fuel vessel in Japan on April 22. “We are excited and proud of the delivery of our first vessel, installed with the first dual-fuel engine in Japan. We are pleased that our technical expertise has been utilised for this commemorative occasion. Having these vessels operating on methanol marine fuel provides shippers and port facilities with a practical and diversified fuel solution that meets today’s and tomorrow’s emission requirements,” said Yoshikazu Kawagoe, managing executive officer (Technical), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.