A study led by the China Waterborne Transportation Research Institute (CWTRI), the think tank of the Chinese Ministry of Transport, supported by the Methanol Institute and producer and distributors Methanex and Shanghai Huayi Energy Chemical Co, will explore the technical and operational requirements for using methanol as a marine fuel
The study aims to create comprehensive guidance and policy suggestions for using methanol as a marine fuel with the characteristics of China’s energy and shipping industries in mind. China is the largest consumer of the fuel and represents 54% of the global demand.
Methanol Institute chief operating officer Chris Chatterton said “We welcome the study by CWTRI which will support the use of methanol as a clean-burning marine fuel.”
Methanex China president Zhang Jianning said “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 and this study will provide an opportunity to decisively strengthen the offering of methanol as a widely available, future-proofed marine fuel in China.”
Shanghai Huayi Energy Chemical Co deputy chief engineer and manager of development department Guo Min said the company sees potential opportunities to use methanol as an alternative fuel as China seeks to improve air quality and emissions control for the transportation industry.
“Huayi contributed to the methanol vehicle pilot in Shanghai, providing M100 fuel for the taxi fleet. As IMO has confirmed in its interim guideline that methanol is a safe and compliant low-flashpoint marine fuel, methanol can find its role in the sustainable development of China’s waterborne transportation sector.”
Methanol is produced from natural gas, coal, or bio products and roughly 45% of global methanol production is used as an energy source and the remainder as a chemical feedstock. In 2018, approximately 78M tonnes of methanol was produced globally, with 36.7M tonnes produced in China.
Watch Riviera’s webinar on methanol’s development as a marine fuel: Marine Fuels: Methanol