Cosulich and Trafigura Order Methanol Bunker Vessel for Singapore
Italy’s Fratelli Cosulich Group in partnership with global commodities trader Trafigura announced plans to launch a methanol bunkering operation at the Pot of Singapore. It is part of the Italian group’s continuing effort to expand its bunkering operation while at the same time representing its move into the emerging alternative fuel.
The partnership ordered the construction of a chemical tanker for bunkering with a capacity of over 8,000 cbm. The contract was signed on December 15, with Taizhou Maple Leaf Shipbuilding Co., in China. The vessel’s cargo tanks will be coated to enable carrying both green methanol and biofuels, making it the first methanol dual-fueled chemical bunker tanker for the company. It will be a 7,990 dwt IMO Type II chemical tanker and will be delivered in the last quarter of 2025.
“The vessel has been designed to our technical specifications, including stringent safety considerations, so that it can be continually powered by methanol,” said Kenneth Dam, TFG Marine’s Global Head of Bunkering, Trafigura’s international marine fuel supply and procurement joint venture with ship owning companies Frontline and Golden Ocean Group. “Delivery of the vessel in the last quarter of 2025 should coincide with growing demand for methanol as a bunker fuel from shipowners.”
The vessel will have twin fixed-pitch propellers, each driven by an electrical motor via a gearbox, and three dual-fueled generator sets supplied by MAN Energy Solutions. An onboard battery storage system will optimize the use of the dual-fueled generators.
The vessel to be located will be located at the Port of Singapore under a fixed-rate time charter contract with TFG. Fratelli Cosulich Bunkers Singapore will oversee the technical management and operations of the vessel for TFG Marine. The partners report that the Port of Singapore is also undertaking necessary planning to ensure a steady supply of methanol from 2025 onwards to meet future bunkering needs.
“We believe in a multi-fuel future and this is an additional important step by our group in that direction, after having built two LNG bunker vessels,” said Guido Cardullo, Head of Business Development of Fratelli Cosulich Group.
The group entered the bunkering business in 1969 and reports today it handles more than 5 million metric tons of fuel globally each year. In 2023, two new LNG bunker vessels were launched for the company building at the CIMC SOE shipyard in China. The two LNG bunker vessels are each 5,300 dwt with a capacity to carry 8,200 cbm of LNG and 500 cbm of MGO. The first vessel, Alice Cosulich, was delivered at the end of October 2023 and departed for Europe to operate under charter to Titan Clean Fuels. Her sister ship, Paolina Cosulich, is due for delivery this month.