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Singapore Calls for Proposals for Methanol Bunker Network by 2025

methanol bunkering
Laura Maersk completed the first ship-to-containership methanol bunkering at Singapore in July (MPA)

Published Dec 14, 2023 8:46 PM by The Maritime Executive

 

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is taking steps to further build out the infrastructure required to support the widespread adoption of methanol as a marine fuel. Today they released a call for proposals for the implementation of end-to-end methanol bunkering solutions following the launch of the port’s first dedicated methanol bunker vessel and efforts to develop the protocols for the new fuel.

In launching the effort to obtain proposals for the bunkering operations, the MPA cites the expected delivery of newly-built methanol-capable vessels in the coming years. The container segment has been moving forward aggressively with orders for dual-fuel methanol-capable vessels. While LNG remains the most favored option, experts have predicted that methanol will overtake other options due to its increasing availability and the planned production of green methanol, as well as the relative ease in handling the fuel versus LNG or ammonia.

The MPA highlights that its call for proposals comes after the recent completion of the world’s first ship-to-containership methanol bunkering operation on July 27, 2023, in Singapore for the Laura Maersk. While Singapore has long been a hub for Asia and the largest bunkering port, Maersk however has selected a route for its first new methanol dual-fuel containership that does not include Singapore. X-Press Feeders also announced plans for its first feeder network with its currently under-construction methanol-capable vessels focusing on Scandinavia and the Baltic.

To ensure a resilient supply of methanol to meet the international bunkering needs in the Port of Singapore, the MPA is inviting interested parties to submit proposals for the supply of methanol as a marine bunker fuel. 

The effort focuses on the methanol supply sources, the model for a methanol bunkering operation at a commercial scale in Singapore, and the alternatives for the physical transfer of methanol. Proposals are due by the end of February 2024, and the MPA reports it will assess the viability of various solutions received, which will also inform and shape the development of MPA’s methanol bunkering licensing framework. 

The is also working with industry partners to study methanol supplies, infrastructure requirements such as terminal facilities and methanol-carrying bunker tankers, seafarers training, and bunkering standards, as part of the broader effort to operationalize methanol bunkering and supply methanol at scale in the Port of Singapore. 

The goal is to have a commercial-scale methanol bunkering infrastructure in place by 2025 to support the emerging fleet of vessels and to maintain Singapore’s role as a leader in bunkering.