Singapore Bunker Supplier Golden Island Plans Methanol Bunkering From 2026

by Jack Jordan, Managing Editor, Ship & Bunker
Wednesday February 15, 2023

Singapore-licensed marine fuel supplier Golden Island Diesel Oil Trading is planning to bring a methanol bunker supply operation to the city-state in 2026.

The firm has found two partners to help set up the operation, Johnny Tan, managing director of Golden Island, told Ship & Bunker, without disclosing the names of the other companies.

"We plan to build our methanol bunker barge at about 8,000-12,000 DWT," Tan said.

"We're looking for green methanol, but if we cannot get it, we'll supply grey methanol at first."

The plan is for one of the firm's partners in the operation to supply the methanol either from the Middle East or Asia.

The move would make Golden Island among the first to bring methanol bunker supply to Singapore's waters.

Global Energy Trading ordered a methanol bunker barge in November with delivery expected at the end of this year, and container line AP Moller-Maersk announced in October that it planned to carry out a trial bunkering of methanol in Singapore in the first half of 2023.

Golden Island was listed by the MPA as Singapore's 16th-largest bunker supplier by volume in 2022.

'Easy to Work With'

The methanol bunker market is attractive to suppliers because the fuel's chemical properties make it easier to deliver than some alternatives, Tan said.

"Methanol is very easy to start with, because it's liquid at normal temperatures and pressures, and it's easy to build a barge and store it," he said.

"You don't need to invest so much for the new facilities."

Demand prospects for methanol as a bunker fuel are uncertain, but Golden Island is hopeful of seeing it grow considerably in the coming years, Tan said.

Maersk already has 19 methanol-fuelled container ships on order, the first of which is due for delivery in the middle of this year, and several other shipping companies have made orders for vessels with methanol propulsion.

"We've started to talk with shipowners, and we want to work with them on increasing demand," Tan said.

"But it looks to be coming more quickly than expected."