OCI and Unibarge to Launch Rotterdam Methanol Bunker Supply Operation

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Wednesday February 1, 2023

Chemicals firm OCI and logistics company Unibarge are working together to bring a methanol physical bunker supply operation to Rotterdam next year.

Unibarge will retrofit its 3,238 DWT bunker barge Chicago both to have dual-fuelled methanol propulsion systems and to operate as a methanol bunker barge for OCI, the companies said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.

OCI will take the barge on a long-term charter, deploying it in Rotterdam's inland waterways from the second half of 2024. The barge will be used to deliver green methanol produced by OCI HyFuels.

"The project is part of our efforts to transition vessels across the board, including smaller crafts that operate on inland waterways which often pass through populous areas," Bashir Lebada, CEO of OCI Methanol, said in the statement.

"We recognize the need to replace current marine fuels with cleaner alternatives such as green methanol, to reduce overall climate impact and improve local air quality.

"Methanol as a marine fuel has been established in the ocean going fleet for close to a decade, whereas the inland fleet is lagging.

"This innovative project demonstrates the viability of green methanol for the existing inland fleet, providing an option to extend the lifetime of existing assets while decarbonizing our inland waterways."