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First Methanol-Powered Tanker Delivered to Stena Proman Joint Venture

first methanol-fueled MR tanker delivered to Proman Stena Bulk
New MR tanker if the first fueled with methanol of the JV between Stena Bulk and Proman (Stena Proman)

Published Jun 20, 2022 6:44 PM by The Maritime Executive

The development of the methanol-fueled world fleet took a key step forward today in China with the delivery of the first of six new mid-range methanol-fueled tankers for Stena Bulk and Proman Shipping. Initially ordered in late 2019, the companies believe that the new class of vessels with set a new benchmark for MR tanker sustainability and hopefully encourage more shipping companies to follow their example.

The 49,900 dwt Stena Pro Patria was built at Guangzhou Shipyard International Co. (GSI) in China for Stena Proman. The vessel departed the shipyard today, making its first stop in Hong Kong before going to Ulsan, South Korea where it will load methanol fuel. The tanker will then proceed to Trinidad and Tobago where the companies plan to conduct a naming ceremony.

“The vessel’s state-of-the-art fuel consumption and engine technology are important steps towards more sustainable shipping,” said David Cassidy, Chief Executive of Proman. “We hope today’s news and our continued investment and commitment will encourage others to accelerate their transition to cleaner fuels like methanol, benefitting from immediate emissions savings while also sending out strong demand signals to the market.”

With expected fuel consumption of 12,500 tons of methanol marine fuel annually, Stena Proman projects the Stena Pro Patria will reduce NOx emissions by 60 percent and reduce CO2 emissions versus conventional marine fuels while eliminating local pollutants including SOx.

Equipped with the latest generation MAN dual-fuel engines, the Stena Pro Patria features state-of-the-art energy efficiency technology, including continually controlled combustion, optimized tuning, and an energy shaft generator. The redesigned and aerodynamic hull lines for the 610-foot vessel along with these technologies will reduce fuel consumption and help to meet and go beyond IMO compliance criteria.

The vessel is the first of six dual-fuel MR tankers in the class that will be operated by both the joint venture and Proman independently. Two further vessels, the Stena Pro Marine and Stena Promise are due for delivery later this year. They were the first vessel ordered by the new joint venture and will be 50/50 owned while operated on a long-term charter to Proman Shipping. Last year, Proman expanded the order with three additional vessels of the class that it will own and operate.

“The delivery of the Stena Pro Patria represents a major milestone,” said Cassidy, noting that they believe it is “sending an important message to the market – that methanol is a reliable and available marine fuel that can reduce global shipping emissions in the short, medium and long term.”

Other major shipping companies including Maersk and recently CMA CGA have followed suit also ordering methanol-fueled containerships while others are also adopting dual-fuel technologies capable of future methanol operation. One of the key questions, however, has been the availability and supply of methanol especially to meet the near-term needs of the shipping industry. Stena Proman however points out that methanol is already available at over 100 ports worldwide, including at all major bunkering hubs. They are confident that methanol will become a key part of the environmental transition for the shipping industry.