Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with methanol manufacturer OCI and engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions to develop methanol and ammonia as marine fuels
The partnership will see retrofits of selected conventional vessels from EPS’ existing tanker fleet that use MAN engines, allowing them to be powered by methanol and ammonia which will be supplied by OCI.
EPS will construct newbuild vessels with MAN engines powered by the two alternative marine fuels. The technology to retrofit a vessel to run on methanol is already available while using methanol and ammonia on newbuilds is still a few years away. OCI intends to charter the first retrofitted vessel from EPS.
EPS chief executive Cyril Ducau said, “As a leading tonnage provider, EPS has taken a firm stance that sustainability begins with accountability. This means we have a responsibility to implement emissions-lowering solutions available today while simultaneously developing solutions for tomorrow. Converting our existing conventional fleet to burn methanol creates a unique opportunity to continue lowering our carbon footprint significantly and rapidly. In the meantime, developing ammonia-fuelled conversion and newbuilding projects will help develop more mature zero-carbon solutions in the longer-term.”
OCI Group chief executive Ahmed El-Hoshy said “The use of ammonia or methanol as a shipping fuel is particularly promising as these products are among the best-placed alternatives to help this sector decarbonise in a cost-effective way. We are confident that, in addition to the exciting developments on newbuilds, existing vessels can economically convert their engines to use our low-carbon products and help the industry meet its goals.”
He added, “We see this as starting with the adoption of grey/blue methanol and ammonia and then shifting to green as production costs come down, customer appetites move towards green and regulations continue to develop. Our products are perfectly positioned to fuel the transition and we believe the push towards low-carbon fuels in the coming years will be met with the adoption of both methanol and ammonia as industry-standard fuels on a grey, blue and green basis. We are therefore pleased that we have signed this agreement with a leading tonnage provider in the shipping industry and the leading engine manufacturer, bringing together a comprehensive representation of the maritime value chain.”
MAN Energy Solutions vice president and head of R&D, Two-Stroke Business, Brian Østergaard Sørensen said the company is “fully committed to the maritime energy transition and the development of technology that exploits alternative, clean fuels.”
The manufacturer has already introduced a methanol-burning two-stroke engine and expects to deliver the first ammonia-fuelled engine in 2024. The uptake of methanol as a long-term fuel has been boosted following the IMO Maritime Safety Committee’s adoption of interim guidelines on the use of methanol as a marine fuel.
Riviera’s Marine Fuels Webinar Week begins 8 March 2021 - use this link for more details and to register for the free 45-minute webinars