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Waterfront Shipping renews fleet with eight new methanol dual-fuel vessels

Canada-headed bulk chemical and petroleum products shipping major, Waterfront Shipping Company Ltd (WFS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Methanex Corporation, the world's largest producer and supplier of methanol, has recently announced the addition of eight new methanol dual-fuel vessels to its fleet. These vessels are part of the company’s fleet renewal program which continually replaces older vessels with newer more efficient ones.

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Waterfront Shipping Company Ltd (WFS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Methanex Corporation, has announced the addition of eight new methanol dual-fuel vessels to its existing fleet of 11 methanol-powered vessels (photo courtesy Methanex).

In partnership with Marinvest/Skagerack Invest (Marinvest), Nippon Yusen Kaisha Group (NYK), Meiji Shipping Co., Ltd. (Meiji Shipping), KSS Line Ltd., and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), these vessels will add to WFS’s existing fleet of 11 methanol-fuelled ships, which have been recognized by the marine industry for their use of clean-burning methanol as a lower emission fuel.

Having surpassed more than 90 000 combined operating hours, the vessels have proven methanol as a viable marine fuel solution; it’s compliant with the most stringent emissions regulations without the need for exhaust gas after-treatment and meets International Maritime Organization (IMO) Tier III NOx emissions standards.

As a marine fuel, methanol also reduces in-sector carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 15 percent when compared to conventional marine fuels.

We are proud that approximately 60 percent of our 30-ship fleet will be powered by lower emission, methanol-fuel technology upon delivery of this latest order. Having operated methanol-fuelled vessels for over four years now, we know that methanol is a practical, cost-competitive, and safe marine fuel for the commercial shipping industry in the post-IMO 2020 marketplace. We are excited to be expanding our methanol-fuelled fleet with these new vessels that benefit from the latest technological advances to optimize engine efficiency and performance, said Paul Hexter, President, Waterfront Shipping.

The eight, 49 999 deadweight tonne (DWT) vessels will be built in South Korea at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard and delivered to WFS between 2021 and 2023. Designed with the MAN second-generation B&W ME-LGIM two-stroke dual-fuel engines, the vessels can run on methanol or traditional marine fuels allowing for fuel flexibility.

In addition, methanol can be produced from renewable sources offering a pathway to meet the IMO’s decarbonization goals without further investment or compatibility issues with the current dual-fuel engine technology.

Our first two methanol-powered ships were delivered in 2016, with an additional two delivered in 2019. We’ve had an exceptional performance from the vessels during their time in operation—both in reliability and efficiency when running on methanol. As ship owners, it is important that we, at Marinvest, spread awareness across the industry of the success of methanol as simple to adopt, cost-competitive, future-proofed marine fuel, said Patrik Mossberg, Chairman of Marininvest.

Global availability

Methanol is one of the world’s most widely traded chemicals and is readily available at almost 90 of the top 100 ports worldwide. As a liquid fuel, established bunkering infrastructure for traditional marine fuels can easily be converted to use methanol.

According to the IMO, “methanol is estimated as the fourth most significant marine fuel used and is growing.” Waterfront Shipping’s addition of new methanol-fuelled vessels will support this growing global demand.

MAN developed the ME-LGI engine concept in response to interest from the shipping world to operate on alternatives to heavy fuel oil. The ME-LGIM dual-fuel engine operates on methanol, heavy fuel oil (HFO), marine diesel oil (MDO), or marine gas oil (MGO). When operating on methanol, the engine uses HFO, MDO, or MGO as a pilot fuel, significantly reducing emissions of NOx, SOx, CO2, and PM. Any operational switch between methanol and other fuels is seamless, said Thomas S Hansen, Head of Two-Stroke Promotion & Customer Support at MAN Energy Solutions.

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