It has been one year since Waterfront Shipping (WFS) welcomed seven of the world’s first ocean-going vessels capable of running on methanol into its fleet.
The first three vessels were delivered in April and the remaining four later in 2016.
These innovative vessels have achieved accolades from the marine industry for their use of clean-burning methanol as an alternative marine fuel. Over the past year, the seven 50,000 dwt methanol tankers – powered by two-stroke dual-fuel engines capable of running on methanol, fuel oil, marine diesel oil or gas oil – have been operating safely and reliably across the globe.
“In 2012, we were looking to renew part of our fleet as time charter vessel contracts naturally expired and to add new vessels to the fleet to meet increased product transportation needs,” explained Jone Hognestad, former president of Waterfront Shipping, who retired in March 2017.
WFS invited three shipping companies ꟷ Marinvest/Skagerack Invest, Mitsui OSK Lines, Ltd, and Westfal-Larsen Management to collaborate on the project and in December 2013 announced plans to commission these dual-fuel vessels. Shipping partners ꟷ engine manufacturer MAN Diesel and Turbo SE, and the two shipyards building the vessels, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Korea and Minaminippon in Japan ꟷ worked closely to realise the project.
Commenting on the environmental performance benefits of methanol-fuelled tankers, MAN Diesel & Turbo sales and promotion manager René Sejer Laursen told Tanker Shipping & Trade: "Tests in blending water with methanol also show promising results in terms of meeting the IMO’s NOx Tier III requirements. Such a new Tier III solution could become a game changer. Further tests are scheduled in the near future to conclude if this could be a new way forward."