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Methanol Institute joins study on methanol as a marine fuel in China

The Methanol Institute (MI) joins a study led by the China Waterborne Transportation Research Institute (CWTRI), the think tank of the Chinese Ministry of Transport, which will consider the technical and operational requirements for the use of methanol as a marine fuel.
“China is progressive in developing clean alternative fuels for its energy diversification and pollution control," said Ji Yongbo, Director of Shipping Technology Research Center of CWTRI.

The first methanol powered boat in China will be joined by more vessels. The Methanol Institute (MI) joins a study led by the China Waterborne Transportation Research Institute (CWTRI), the think tank of the Chinese Ministry of Transport, which will consider the technical and operational requirements for the use of methanol as a marine fuel (photo courtesy MI).

CWTRI has also played an important role in other alternative marine fuel by providing policy research and management service for Chinese policymakers. The Methanol Institute (MI) serves as the trade association for the global methanol industry representing the world’s leading methanol producers, distributors, and technology companies from offices around the world

China is the largest producer and consumer of methanol globally. Methanol has been used safely in the country for many years, not only as a building block for the manufacturing of chemicals but also as a clean fuel in cookstoves and industrial boilers, passenger vehicles, and heavy-duty trucks. We welcome the study by CWTRI which will support the use of methanol as a clean-burning marine fuel, said Methanol Institute Chief Operating Officer Chris Chatterton.

Based on China’s own characteristics of its energy and shipping industry, the study will create comprehensive guidance and policy suggestions for the use of methanol as a marine fuel reflecting the experience already gained in large and small methanol-fuelled marine engines and will develop a roadmap for the adoption of methanol as a marine fuel in China.

The study is also supported by Methanex Corporation, the world’s largest methanol producer and distributor.

Methanex currently operates 11 dual-fuel methanol-powered vessels globally through our wholly-owned-subsidiary Waterfront Shipping. Our experience to date has proven methanol as a safe, reliable, cost-competitive and IMO 2020 compliant marine fuel for a sustainable future in commercial shipping. This study will provide an opportunity to decisively strengthen the offering of methanol as a widely available, future-proofed marine fuel in China, said Zhang Jianning, President, Methanex China.

In addition, Shanghai Huayi Energy Chemical Co., Ltd., one of the largest methanol producers and distributors in China is supporting the study.

China has a sharp focus on air quality and emissions control for the transportation industry on a national basis, we see potential opportunities for methanol to be used as an alternative fuel. Huayi contributed in the methanol vehicle pilot in Shanghai, by providing M100 fuel for the taxi fleet there. As IMO has confirmed in its interim guideline that methanol is a safe and compliant low flash point marine fuel, methanol can find its role in the sustainable development of China’s waterborne transportation sector, said Guo Min, Deputy Chief Engineer and Manager of Development Department, Huayi.

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