Methanol Bunker Vessel Planned for Northern Europe 

methanol bunker tanker
Vingaren delivered in late 2020 expanded the company's Northern European bunkering oeprations (OljOla)

Published Nov 9, 2022 7:06 PM by The Maritime Executive

Swedish shipping company OljOla reports it is working with Stena Oil and Stena Teknik in a new joint venture for a new oil and chemical tanker designed to become one of the first dedicated vessels for methanol bunkering. Stena Oil and OljOla Shipping are expanding their fleet of three bunker tankers with the new vessel specifically designed to meet the needs of the bunker supply market in the North European region.

OljOla reports the vessel will be 2,000 dwt with a cargo capacity of 2,100 cubic meters in 10 cargo tanks and two slop tanks. The project is a joint venture involving OljOla Shipping as owner with full technical management, Stena Oil as commercial operator, and Stena Teknik as project and new building management. 

The vessel is designed by Kuzey and is being built by GENKA Shipbuilding in Tuzla, Turkey. With its ability to transport chemical cargoes, the companies said the new bunker tanker will allow Stena Oil to expand its portfolio with alternative fuel types.

“The vessel design and specification have been upgraded to match and exceed the operational requirements for the North European region,” said OljOla. “Besides being highly flexible and with environmental performance in mind, the vessel is designed to carry chemicals as per IMO Type II, including methanol and various bio-fuels.”

News of the agreement between the Swedish companies to secure the new build comes as efforts are increasing to build out the infrastructure for methanol and other alternative fuels. Maersk expects to introduce by mid-2023 the world’s first methanol-fueled containership. The vessel being built in South Korea is a feeder vessel with a capacity of 2,100 TEU. It will operate on Maersk’s Baltic shipping route between Northern Europe and the Bay of Bothnia.

Methanol is quickly gaining momentum as the emerging alternative fuel for the maritime industry. This week, DNV reported that for the first time during October orders for methanol-fueled ships outnumbered orders for LNG-fueled ships. Principal Consultant Martin Christian Wold at DNV reported that 18 large containerships were ordered that will be able to run on methanol, including additional orders from Maersk as well as the first order from COSCO Shipping for itself and OOCL. DNV reports on its Alternative Fuels Insights database that there are currently 20 vessels able to operate on methanol and by 2028 an additional 64 will be delivered. 


Drawing of the new bunker vessel to be built in Turkey (OljOla)


The bunker tanker, which will have a length of approximately 220 feet, is a twin screw oil- and chemical tanker with two main engines and three diesel generators, all equipped with SCRs for Tier III compliance. The cargo will be transported in coated cargo tanks over five complete segregations and discharged by screw type cargo pumps. Accommodations will feature nine cabins suited for 12 persons.

OljOla has been building outs its capabilities in Northern Europe. Late in 2020, the company added the Vingaren, a 5,560 dwt tanker with a unique design and purpose-built features to operate as a bunker vessel in Northern Europe. The bunker tanker employs diesel-electric propulsion and with its hull design, the vessel can move twice the amount of cargo on the same energy consumption compared to older vessels in their fleet. The Vingaren has a total cargo capacity of 6,150 cubic meters.

OljOla also in 2020 entered into an agreement with Stena Oil to manage a new oil terminal in Port of Frederikshavn, Denmark. The terminal was built as part of the expansion of the port.