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Jones Act ATB Newcomer Rose Cay to Move E-Methanol

ATB
File image courtesy Rose Cay

Published Jul 19, 2023 8:28 PM by The Maritime Executive

ATB newcomer Rose Cay Maritime has signed a contract to provide methanol transportation for Carbon Sink LLC, one of the newly-formed suppliers serving Maersk's green methanol sourcing program. 

Rose Cay was founded in 2021, and it got a running start by buying eight ATBs from the former Bouchard Transportation fleet. These young Jones Act vessels run the full range of ATB sizes, from 4,000 horsepower tugs like the former Evening Breeze up to the tanker-sized ex-Kim M. Bouchard / RCM 270.

The new MOU gives Rose Cay a role as an end-to-end logistics provider for all of Carbon Sink's planned methanol plant projects, including transportation, bunkering and storage. There is room to grow: the partners estimate that there are more than 220 methanol-capable ships in operation or under construction today, and the scale of demand is on the order of six million tonnes (and growing). 

Carbon Sink is developing its first e-methanol plant to supply 100,000 tonnes of the green fuel per year to a single customer, AP Moller-Maersk. It is one of the largest offtake agreements in Maersk's dedicated methanol supply chain. The first facility will be located at the Red River Energy bioethanol plant in Rosholt, South Dakota, and will tap biogenic CO2 from the existing plant. When combined with green hydrogen, this CO2 will be turned into green methanol - and when it's burned as a fuel, it will have a low lifecycle carbon footprint. The first plant is scheduled to start production in 2027, and more could be on the way: Maersk has options in its agreement with Carbon Sink for more facilities. 

Rose Cay is positioned well to serve a green fuel-focused charterer. Its tank ATBs can carry a range of liquid products, and it is orienting its services towards biofuel and green-fuel transport in the Jones Act market. 

“Rose Cay Maritime is the ideal partner to help Carbon Sink deliver our carbon-neutral fuels to our customers. Their industry knowledge and leadership in advancing the maritime energy transition will enable us to better serve the market as we expand our production capacity,” said Carbon Sink CEO Steve Mayer in a statement.