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OCI fuels Maersk’s first green methanol powered container vessel

OCI fuels Maersk’s first green methanol powered container vessel
OCI will provide ISCC-certified green biomethanol to power the maiden voyage of Maersk’s first dual-fueled container ship, in a pioneering step towards the decarbonization of global shipping (image courtesy OCI).

The Netherlands-headed global producer and distributor of nitrogen products OCI N.V. (OCI Global) has announced it is fueling the first-ever green methanol-powered container ship in a new partnership with Denmark-headed global container logistics major A.P. Moller-Maersk (Maersk). OCI will provide ISCC-certified green biomethanol to power the maiden voyage of Maersk’s first dual-fueled container ship, in a pioneering step towards the decarbonization of global shipping.

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The Maersk container vessel leaves South Korea for its maiden voyage this summer, sailing along one of the world’s busiest shipping routes to Northern Europe via the Suez Canal, bunkering at several major ports along its journey.

OCI is obtaining the approvals and permits required to commercially bunker methanol in several ports on the ship’s voyage, including the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands positioning OCI as the first commercial bunker operator of methanol in these regions.

According to the company, the journey demonstrates OCI Global’s unique capacity to supply marine customers with end-to-end green methanol solutions in major global bunkering locations and further supports green methanol as the leading choice today for decarbonizing the marine sector, which is responsible for an estimated 3 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

I’m delighted that we are partnering with Maersk to power the first-ever green methanol voyage with OCI HyFuels green methanol. This marks another significant milestone in our global leadership in supplying and trading renewable and low-carbon fuels to decarbonize energy-intensive industries. We also appreciate the collaboration and leadership of our partners at each of the ports to facilitate this journey. With the maritime industry facing increasing regulatory scrutiny, its decarbonization is urgent, and OCI is playing a crucial role in helping the sector meet its environmental goals through our existing methanol capabilities; helping us build our position in the marine and fuels markets to capitalize on the coming ammonia fuel demand, said Ahmed El-Hoshy, CEO at OCI Global.

Renewable fuels ready for marine

This voyage is an important milestone in the expansion of OCI’s renewable and low-carbon fuels business, a key pillar of OCI’s sustainable growth strategy.

As the maritime industry navigates increased regulation to accelerate decarbonization, such as the FuelEU Maritime initiative, OCI anticipates incremental global demand for methanol at 4 million tonnes per year in the next five years, based on current orders from the marine sector.

OCI is focused on being the “last mile operator” of choice at strategic bunkering ports, leveraging partnerships with relevant authorities and certification bodies, terminal infrastructure partners, and bunker barge operators.

In February, OCI announced its project with Unibarge to retrofit the first methanol-powered bunker barge, to be deployed at the Port of Rotterdam.

Leading the way in hydrogen fuels

Through its OCI HyFuels brand, OCI is one of the largest green methanol producers globally and has led the development of green methanol applications in vehicle fuels.

OCI HyFuels is placing up to 200,000 tonnes per annum equivalent and is growing its suite of low-carbon and green methanol products, including biomethanol, e-methanol, recycled carbon fuel (RCF) methanol, renewable natural gas (RNG), ethanol and bio-MTBE.

In anticipation of the expected demand for renewable and low-carbon ammonia and methanol, OCI has announced several major projects to significantly increase the sustainable production of its two core products.

These include GasifHy, the gasification project at its existing European methanol facility to shift it to green methanol production; a 1.1 million tonnes per annum blue ammonia plant in Texas (TX), United States (US), scheduled to start production in 2025 and its Egypt Green ammonia facility through Fertiglobe, a strategic partnership between OCI and ADNOC, where the first tonnes of green ammonia from electrolysis were produced earlier this year.

We are excited about this new phase of our methanol business. Marine has been the main buzz around methanol for several years, so securing the first real green sale and voyage is a testament to our team’s hard work and further reinforces OCI HyFuels as the only large-scale green methanol solution for road and bunker. We welcome our partnership with Maersk and their leadership in decarbonizing the maritime sector; their early focus on methanol and conviction to order vessels has led us to where we are today. This also highlights our distribution system and last mile capabilities where we will continue to leverage our road fuel logistics and fuel blending system and add to our green bunker barge fleet as demand grows, said Bashir Lebada, CEO of OCI Methanol/HyFuels.

We would like to thank OCI Global for showing great leadership and for good collaboration in fueling the maiden voyage of our landmark vessel. We are grateful for the way OCI Global has committed to helping A.P. Moller–Maersk deliver valuable services to our customers. Together, as trusted partners, we are driving a much-needed transition in a heavy-pollution industry. Because of the work by companies like OCI Global, that transition can hopefully be accelerated in the years to come, said Emma Mazhari, Head of Energy Markets at A.P. Moller–Maersk.

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