Maiden Voyage for Methanol Bunker-Powered Tanker

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday June 6, 2016

The 50,000 dwt Taranaki Sun, notable because it can burn methanol bunkers as well as traditional HFO and MGO, is on its maiden voyage to China.

After leaving the shipyard in Japan, the vessel recently called at New Zealand's New Plymouth port where it was also loaded with a cargo of methanol, local media reports.

"It's innovative and exciting technology - it reinforces our commitment to sustainable technology and also provides a cost-effective alternative marine fuel," said Vanessa James, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing and Logistics at Methanex, whose Waterfront Shipping Company subsidiary owns the vessel.

"We believe methanol as a marine fuel has immense potential in helping the shipping industry meet environmental regulations, with a cleaner fuel that significantly reduces emissions, including nitrogen oxides and sulphur."

Despite positive comments over its potential from notable sources such as DNV GL, methanal bunkers have yet to gain widespread traction.

Nevertheless, at the end of 2015 FCBI Energy said the alternative bunker fuel had an "historic opportunity" for adoption as a marine fuel as it was "abundant, biodegradable, emissions compliant, available globally and current bunkering infrastructure only requires minor modifications to handle methanol as a marine fuel."