First Ocean-Going Methanol Fuelled Ship Delivered

Image courtesy Hyundai Mipo

Published Apr 21, 2016 9:41 PM by The Maritime Executive

On April 20, Norway's Westfal-Larsen took delivery of the Lindanger, the world's first ocean-going vessel capable of running on either methanol or traditional petroleum fuels. She joins the ro/pax Stena Germanica, which operates on the Baltic Sea, in the small but growing class of methanol-fuelled ships.

“We are very pleased to see the completion and launch of this exciting and innovative newbuilding,” said Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO at DNV GL – Maritime. “This is the first time a dual-fuel engine with a Low Flashpoint Liquid (LFL) fuel system has been installed on an ocean-going vessel . . . methanol as a marine fuel is a very promising option to enable owners to reduce the environmental impact of their vessels and to comply with low sulphur and ECA regulations.”

The Lindanger is the first of seven dual-fuelled 50,000 dwt tankers ordered by Mitsui O.S.K., Marinvest/Skagerack and Westfal; all will be chartered to Methanex subsidiary Waterfront Shipping. Waterfront operates a global fleet of 22 deep sea product tankers used for carrying methanol.

Two more of the tankers will be formally delivered this month, one on Friday and one on April 28.

The Lindanger is equipped with a MAN-designed dual-fuel, two-stroke engine, and can run on methanol, fuel oil or marine diesel. She is built to DNV GL standards for low flash point marine fuels; in 2013, DNV GL became the first classification society to publish rules covering LFL fuels.

“We are so privileged to become the first shipyard in the world to deliver a methanol fuelled vessel. It will reduce SOx emissions by about 95 percent and NOx emissions by about 30 percent compared to conventional marine diesel oil,” said Man Choon Kim, vice president of contract management for Hyundai Mipo Dockyard.

Methanol is sulphur free, and it is a compliance option for vessels operating in ECAs (emission control areas), and for current and future regulations on SOx emissions. It is produced from natural gas, and can also be made from renewable feedstocks, such as agricultural and timber waste. The cost to build new and covert existing vessels to run on methanol is significantly less than other alternative fuel conversions, and, as one of the top five chemical commodities shipped around the world each year, methanol is already available almost everywhere. As it is a liquid, methanol can be handled by conventional bunkering and storage solutions without extensive modifications.