The new fuel, dubbed ‘blue methanol’, is a by- product of the steel production industry and helps to reduce the ferry’s reliance on diesel, lowering the vessel’s carbon emissions
Stena Line took a step in reducing its carbon emissions when Stena Germanica travelled from Sweden to Germany powered by recycled methanol.
This week’s journey is another milestone in a project that launched in 2015 when the dual-fuel system onboard Stena Germanica was converted to allow the vessel to run on both methanol and diesel fuel. It is the world’s first methanol powered ferry, which operates on the Gothenburg – Kiel route.
Stena Line developed the conversion project along with several partners, including Methanex, Wärtsilä and EU’s Motorways of the Seas project.
With the transit, the Swedish ferry company has achieved a milestone, powering Stena Germanica with methanol recycled from residual gases from the steel production process.
"I can confirm that we sailed with the new fuel from Gothenburg to Kiel on June 22 and it worked very well,” said Stena Germanica chief engineer Peter Holm.
Stena Line said in a press release: “While methanol is a fossil fuel, it is much cleaner than traditional marine fuel. Sulphur and particulates are reduced by 90% and nitrogen by 60%. The steel industry and the maritime sector are two of the world’s biggest emitters of CO2, accounting for 6-8% and 2.5% of all CO2 emissions respectively. The FReSMe project, funded by H2020 EU program, aims to demonstrate the whole process that enables the CO2 captured from the steel industry to produce methanol fuel that will be used as fuel in the ship transportation sector.”
“This collaboration between the steel and the maritime sectors is the first of its kind and demonstrates that by working together companies from different backgrounds can greatly improve their effect on the climate. For Stena Line this is another successful proof of concept for our methanol conversion ferry and a further bridge towards our aim of fossil free shipping,” says Stena Line Group head of sustainability Erik Lewenhaupt.
This project has received funding from the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme.
By 2030 Stena Line Group aims to reduce its total CO2 emissions by 30%. It said that an important key to success is to increase the use of alternative fuels, such as methanol, hydrogen, and battery power.