Singapore’s First Dedicated Methanol Bunker Ship is Commissioned

methanol bunker vessel
Singapore has its first dedicated methanol bunker vessel

Published Dec 13, 2023 8:51 PM by The Maritime Executive


Singapore has received its first dedicated methanol bunker vessel, the MT Maple. According to officials at the port, it marks a milestone in the development of the alternative energy sector and will help to accelerate the deployment of methanol as a marine fuel expanding on Singapore’s role as the world’s largest bunker port.

The 4,000 dwt Maple was built by Japan’s Sasaki Shipbuilding as part of an argument signed 14 months ago in Japan involving Global Energy Trading and its subsidiary Stellar Ship Management Services. Bureau Veritas participated in the project and classed the vessel.

The ship’s cargo tanks are specifically coated with inorganic zinc silicates specifically chosen to support the operation as a methanol bunker vessel. They highlighted that the vessel is an IMO Type 2 chemical and oil tanker equipped with twin-screw propulsion, a flow boom, and a mass flow metering system, and is compliant with the current Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) licensing requirements for oil product bunker tankers. 

A dedicated team from Stellar supervised the construction of the bunker vessel. Stellar is a ship manager for oil and chemical tankers, including managing and crewing the fleet of 20 tankers owned by the Global Energy Group. 

Global Energy, which is licensed in Singapore and the UAE as a bunker supplier offers a full range of marine fuels. The vessel will go into service in early 2024 operated by Global Energy and is part of the company’s efforts to expand its offering with dedicated capabilities in biofuel and methanol. A sister vessel, the MT Kara was launched at Sasaki Shipbuilding last month and is scheduled for delivery in March 2024.

“The delivery of Singapore’s first dedicated methanol bunkering vessel is an important step to support the adoption of alternative low-carbon fuels by shipping,” said David Barrow, Vice-President South Asia and Pacific, Marine & Offshore for Bureau Veritas. “By enabling the delivery of methanol to vessels calling at Singapore, the new vessel will contribute to developing the industry’s supply and bunkering capabilities, which are essential in order to scale up those fuels and ensure their availability.”

The delivery of this new bunker comes at a critical time as Singapore looks to play a leading role in the emerging alternative fuel markets. Maersk announced it will be introducing the first of its 18 large methanol dual-fuel containerships in February 2024, but the initial routing skips Singapore on the trips between Asia and Europe. 

Last year, Singapore however was one of the ports that participated in the fueling of the Laura Maersk on her maiden voyage from Asia to Europe, becoming the first containership operating on methanol. The Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore reports that it has undertaken a working group to introduce a new bunkering procedure for the safe handling and delivery of methanol as a marine fuel to ships refueling in the port of Singapore.