Record 22 Methanol Ships Ordered in February

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Friday March 3, 2023

A record 22 methanol powered ships were ordered in February 2023, according to the latest data from DNV's Alternative Fuels Insight (AFI) platform.

Interest in methanol as marine fuel has been growing in recent times, and the orders are hard evidence that the talk is now translating into orders.

In comparison, there were 10 orders for LNG fuelled ships last month.

"Interest for methanol has been growing very quickly, and now this is materializing into firm orders. Being a well-established alternative for some time, we see that LNG is still gaining ground," said Martin Wold, Principal Consultant in DNV's Maritime Advisory business.

"We expect continued growth for both fuel options as they have their distinct pros and cons depending on the segment. LNG offers immediate reduction of GHG, even when fossil LNG is used, at the expense of a higher capital investment. Building a methanol fuelled vessel is less expensive, but green methanol will be needed sooner than green LNG and there is currently high uncertainty on future availability and prices."

Through to 2028 there are currently confirmed orders for 81 methanol powered ships. These will add to the 25 currently in operation.

In contrast, Ove the same period LNG has been chosen for 518 vessel order that will add to the 368 LNG-powered vessels currently in operation.

While industry focus is firmly on alternatives to oil bunkers, tonnage powered by alternatives to traditional fuel still represent a tiny fraction of the 60,000 vessel strong global fleet.