Steel Cutting Begins for New Methanol-Fueled MR Tanker

steel cut for new methanol-fueled MR tanker
Rendering of the new methanol-fueled MR tanker (Stena Bulk photo)

Published Jan 20, 2021 5:24 PM by The Maritime Executive

Steel cutting began in China for the first of three new methanol-fueled tankers being built for the joint venture between Swedish Stena Bulk and the Swiss-based Proman Shipping. The 49,900 dwt IMOIIMeMAX vessel, which is scheduled for delivery in early 2022 is being built at the Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) in China.

According to the companies, the Stena Pro Patria, along with her sister ship the Stena Pro Mare which will begin construction shortly, will use approximately 12,500 tons of methanol as fuel per year, which will significantly reduce the volume of carbon and greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the vessel’s commercial operations, especially compared to the use of conventional marine fuels. They believe that these vessels will set a new benchmark for mid-range (MR) tanker sustainability.   

It will also benefit from several design and technical improvements to optimize energy and fuel efficiency. Additionally, the vessel’s latest generation MAN dual-fuel engines will also feature revolutionary new water and fuel emulsion technologies to significantly reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions without the need for catalytic conversion technology. The vessels will also be equipped with the latest energy efficiency technology, including continually controlled combustion, optimized tuning, redesigned and aerodynamic hull lines, and an energy shaft generator, reducing fuel consumption and helping to meet strict emissions criteria. 
“The steel cutting for Stena Pro Patria is the first step in a fascinating series of projects that will further strengthen Stena’s commitment to sustainability excellence and with spearheading shipping’s fuel innovation and wider decarbonization journey,” said Erik Hånell, President and CEO of Stena Bulk. “We’re proud to embrace a partnership approach through our successful joint venture with Proman to bring their exceptional latest innovations and dedicated expertise in the methanol field together with our progressive vision for minimum environmental impact.”

Available at over 100 ports around the world and providing significant CAPEX cost and safety advantages to comparable alternatives such as LNG, the company said that methanol offers a clear pathway towards meeting the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) commitment to cut carbon emissions. Compared with regular marine fuel, methanol offers a more than 95% reduction in sulfur oxide (SOx) and particulate matter, and a 60% reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx).

The agreement to build two methanol-ready tankers, which was the first deal signed by the joint venture between Stena Bulk and Proman Shipping, was finalized in November 2019 with Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) in China. A third vessel, the Stena Prosperous, due for delivery in the second half of 20022 was added to the order in November 2020.

The first two ships will be jointly  owned by the two companies and operate on long term charter to Proman Shipping after delivery. The Stena Prosperous will initially be deployed by Stena Bulk within their traded pool of ships for a period of two to three years, making it the first methanol dual-fuel powered ship traded on the chemicals / CPP market by a conventional shipowner without an active contract to a methanol producer. After this initial period, the Stena Prosperous will then enter into a long-term time charter with Proman Shipping.