Mistui OSK Lines (MOL) and Marubeni Corporation will participate in a joint study to build, operate and utilise a methanol carrier with a dual-fuel engine
The move is part of an MoU signed by MOL, Marubeni and Russia’s ministry for Development of the Far East and the Arctic Regions at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia. Other parties include the financial institutions State Development Corporation VEB.RF and VTB Bank and Russian private equity firm ESN.
The project pertains to transporting methanol by sea, which the ESN Group plans to produce from natural gas in the Amur Region of Russia. The MoU will consider introducing an environmentally friendly vessel which can reduce sulphur oxide emissions by up to 99%, particulate matter by up to 95%, nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 80% and carbon dioxide by up to 15% compared with conventional fuel oil.
Marubeni and MOL stated they will consider developing a project that would supply methanol as marine fuel should the demand for methanol as a fuel for vessels grow in the east Asian region in future, as the methanol produced and exported by the ESN Group may become a competitive supply source located within the region.
Marubeni and MOL will drive the project in collaboration with customers and partners in Japan and overseas, and in co-operation with the government-related organisations, with the aim of further reducing the environmental impact of ocean transport.
Because methanol is liquid at normal temperature and pressure, it has the advantage of low marine transportation costs. On land, it can also be stored in ordinary tanks for liquids as a supply base.
Methanol-powered ships are gaining traction with container ship giant AP Møller-Mærsk placing an order with Hyundai Heavy Industries for up to a dozen 16,000-TEU methanol powered box ships last month.
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