Engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions reports seeing a wave of orders of methanol-fuelled ships.
The company has signed a deal with Japan's Tsuneishi Shipbuilding for three methanol main engines for three 81,200 DWT bulkers on order for shipping firm J Lauritzen, it said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.
The ships will be chartered by Cargill for at least the first seven years of their life.
A total of 152 methanol-powered ships have been ordered so far this year, according to classification society DNV, compared with 112 LNG-fuelled ones.
"We are currently experiencing a wave of ME-LGIM orders and it is great to see such a respected company as J. Lauritzen joining the decarbonisation journey," Bjarne Foldager, head of two-stroke business at MAN, said in the statement.
"While car carriers have been to the fore recently, we ultimately expect methanol to figure prominently as a future fuel across all vessel segments and these newbuildings will be capable of trading carbon-neutrally when powered by green methanol and bio-fuel oils."
Methanol is rapidly gaining in popularity as an alternative marine fuel, with orders of methanol-fuelled tonnage now coming in regularly from a variety of shipping segments. The main challenge for this market will be the scaling-up of green methanol supply in time to meet the needs of the new ships as they are delivered.