EXTERNAL: Charting a Sustainable Course - Headway Technology Group Showcases their Groundbreaking Methanol Fuel Supply System

by Headway Technology Group (Qingdao) Co., Ltd
Tuesday October 31, 2023

The Forum of Alternative Fuel and Propulsion Technology was organized by Headway Technology Group (Qingdao) Co., Ltd. on 27th October, in Yantai, China. With the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry (CANSI) and the China Shipowners' Association (CSA) as hosts, many Distinguished representatives from government agencies, industrial associations, ship owners, shipyards and naval design institutes gathered at this event to engage in in-depth discussions on the latest advancements and prospects of alternative fuels and propulsion technologies.

During the forum, Headway Technology Group showcased their groundbreaking Methanol Fuel Supply System, which was in live operation. The event garnered support from notable organizations, including the Shandong Provincial Association of the Shipbuilding Industry (SPASI), Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI) and leading universities.

Headway Technology Group took center stage at the forum by unveiling two cutting-edge decarbonization solutions: the Methanol Fuel Supply System (LFSS) and the Carbon Capture, Storage and Utilization System (CCSU). Additionally, they formalized a Cooperation Agreement on Alternative Fuel Conversion with PaxOcean Engineering Zhoushan Co., Ltd and SDARI. Under this agreement, the three companies will collaborate to provide comprehensive turnkey solutions, encompassing retrofitting, installation, commissioning and technical/after-sales support for alternative fuel sources like methanol and ammonia. This partnership is anticipated to yield mutual benefits for the entire supply chain and, most importantly, for the customer. 

Naifen Tan, Deputy Secretary General of CANSI, emphasized that the global economic slowdown has introduced increased uncertainties and challenges. Furthermore, with the finalization of the "2023 IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships", the shipping industry has embarked on a faster journey toward decarbonization. In this context, the shipbuilding industry finds itself at a crossroads, brimming with both opportunities and challenges. There is an urgent need for a stronger commitment to digitalization and green technologies, fostering the growth of intelligent manufacturing and integrated solutions. These steps are essential in empowering a bottom-up approach to conversion. Ms. Tan commended the forum for providing a valuable platform for the industry to explore possibilities for steering the shipping sector toward a greener future.

The other two specially invited guests also address speeches. Ms. Ying Xin from Department of industry and information Technology, and Mr. Hailong, Chen from a leading university, underscored that venturing down the path of industrialization is a critical objective for achieving industrialization with distinct Chinese characteristics. They emphasized that promoting innovation serves as the cornerstone of industrialization, and sustainability should be ingrained as an integral element of this process. It was mentioned in the recent provincial ship and offshore supply chain conference, the paramount importance and concentrating efforts should be put in key areas and prioritizing major tasks aimed at fostering the exclusive, intelligent and sustainable development of the shipping industry. Universities should fully take the advantages of talents and scientific & technological innovation, cooperate with suppliers in the industry, seize the research and development opportunities of key technologies for green ships, and jointly promote the update and iteration of new energy power technologies for ships.

During the forum, Yao Yu, the Director of the Mechanical and Electrical Department at the Development Institute of Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co., Ltd., delivered a keynote speech on "The Application of Methanol Propulsion Systems for Large Container Carriers" He shared Jiangnan's extensive expertise in the design and construction of large, low-carbon container carriers.

Dr. Enzhe Song, an expert in marine power and propulsion, representing leading Chinese universities, gave a speech titled "Development Path of Marine Propulsion" This presentation provided a detailed introduction to the strategic requirements and potential development pathways for alternative marine fuels. Dr. Song's speech also outlined a practical approach for Chinese shipping companies to achieve green and sustainable development tailored to their specific needs.

Kechao Lu, the Director of the Strategy & Development Department at Headway, delivered a speech titled "Headway's Low Carbon Solutions based on the Strategy for Reduction of GHG Emissions". This presentation fully unveiled Headway's comprehensive solutions for low-carbon shipping, along with sharing data analytics from bench tests of the OceanGuard® LFSS.

Zhuo Zhang, Director of the Innovation Center at SDARI, introduced SDARI's brand-new Dolphin 210,000 and 85,000 DWT methanol dual-fuel bulk carriers. He also shared insights on optimized tanker and PCTC designs.

Hongxing Li, Promotion Manager at MAN Energy Solutions, delivered a speech titled "Introduction to Two-Stroke Methanol Marine Engines and Auxiliary Systems". This presentation provided technical specifications for MAN's two-stroke methanol engines, highlighted major components, and discussed modular retrofitting.

In the afternoon, the speakers and audience had the opportunity to visit Headway's alternative fuel test center and observed the OceanGuard® Methanol Fuel Supply System in action. The test center was purposefully designed to serve as an intelligent platform, facilitating technical research, commercialization, product testing and talent development. This field visit provided an in-depth understanding of the components and operational aspects of the OceanGuard® LFSS, including the Methanol Supply Unit, Bunkering Unit, Service Tank and Control Unit.

The forum, as a whole, serves as a pivotal platform for the alternative fuel value chain to foster communication and collaboration. It is poised to drive the industry toward a greener future, characterized by mutual benefits. This collective effort will propel the industry along a steady and sustainable path toward a more environmentally conscious course.