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Maersk Oil Trading, METS, Mitsui and ABS develop methanol bunkering project

Maersk Oil Trading, METS, Mitsui and ABS develop methanol bunkering project
"As the world’s top bunkering and transshipment hub port, MPA welcomes the news that our shipping industry is working on the use of methanol as a potential marine fuel. We look forward to engagement with the consortium on their trial, the outcomes of which will be useful for the global transition towards sustainable shipping," commented a spokesperson for MPA (photo courtesy MPA).

In Singapore, a consortium with Mitsui & Co., Ltd (Mitsui), Mitsui & Co, Energy Trading Singapore Pte. Ltd (METS), Maersk Oil Trading (MOT), a part of A.P Moller - Maersk (Maersk) and the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) have agreed to jointly conduct a detailed feasibility study of methanol bunkering logistics.

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This joint project is in line with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) initial strategy to halve greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within the shipping industry by 2050 compared to 2008 levels, which is also aligned with the direction of Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to achieve decarbonization of the maritime industry in Singapore.

Green methanol is expected to be one of the promising alternative marine fuels that have the potential to make significant contributions to reducing GHG emissions in the shipping industry.

The project participants strongly believe that the establishment of a safe and reliable operational platform is valuable to Singapore as a leading bunkering location globally.

Investigate methanol storage and bunkering

Through the feasibility study, the project participants intend to investigate the design of the bunkering vessel, safe operating procedures, fuel storage, and regulatory considerations by utilizing both MOT and Mitsui groups’ strong presence in the Singapore marine fuel market.

At A.P. Moller – Maersk, we have made great progress in identifying sources of green methanol, and now developing and proving we can safely deliver it to our vessels is a key priority for us. It will contribute strongly to our target of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, said Mikkel Kannegard, Head of Maersk Oil Trading.

ABS will support the study by providing an operational risk assessment.

Methanol presents an immediate and promising solution with practical advantages in storage, handling, and carbon intensity reduction potential which is gaining traction in the market. The further development of green methanol (e.g. electrolysis and biogenic carbon) provides a viable option for carbon-neutral operations. ABS is proud to be able to use its industry-leading experience with methanol vessels to support this project, said Panos Koutsourakis, ABS Director, Sustainability Strategy.

This project is targeting to conduct an actual ship-to-ship bunkering operation on a vessel in the first half of 2023.

We are pleased to have an opportunity to participate in this joint project in Singapore with reliable and like-minded partners. The project aims to establish a platform for the bunkering of alternative fuel for vessels and will lead to maritime decarbonization. Through this project and other GHG reduction initiatives, Mitsui will continue contributing to the realization of a carbon-neutral society, ended Yoshio Kometani, Representative Director, and EVP of Mitsui.

The project participants have been engaging with various stakeholders in the maritime industry and aim to successfully complete the project and establish a stable alternative fuel supply chain for maritime decarbonization in Singapore.

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