Canadian Firm Plans Methanol-Powered Tankers

Monday December 9, 2013

Waterfront Shipping Co. Ltd. (Waterfront Shipping) of Canada says it is working with partners to add six ships with engines capable of running on methanol, as well as fuel oil, marine diesel oil (MDO), or gas oil (MGO) to its chartered fleet.

Waterfront Shipping's partners, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd (MOL), Westfal-Larsen & Co. A/S (WL), and Marinvest/Skagerack Invest, will each own two of the ships with an option for an additional vessel.

The 50,000 deadweight-tonne (dwt) ships will be built by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard and Minaminippon Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., and they will use MAN ME-LGI flex fuel engines.

"We are very excited to continue investing in methanol-based marine fuel," said Jone Hognestad, president of Waterfront Shipping.

"This announcement reinforces our commitment to continue investing in sustainable technology."

Hognestad said methanol is sulfur free and produces less pollution than standard bunker fuel.

"With fuel prices increasing and upcoming shipping regulations requiring the use of cleaner marine fuel, methanol-based fuel is a promising alternative which reduces emissions and fuel costs," he said.

Waterfront Shipping is a wholly owned subsidiary of Methanex Corp., a major supplier of methanol to markets worldwide.

The ships will replace older vessels in Waterfront Shipping's fleet and support new demand from Methanex Corp's operations, including the relocation of two methanol plants from Chile to the U.S. state of Louisiana.

The use of methanol as bunker fuel has attracted attention in the industry recently, with Det Norske Veritas (DNV) releasing rules for use of the fuel and Stena Ro Ro announcing plans to convert its vessels to methanol power by 2018.