First Biomethanol-Fuelled Transatlantic Voyage for MOL and Methanex

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Tuesday February 28, 2023

Japanese shipping company MOL and chemicals firm Methanex have completed their first transatlantic voyage fuelled by biomethanol.

The tankerĀ Cajun Sun, owned by MOL and chartered by Methanex subsidiary Waterfront Shipping, completed a voyage between the US and Belgium earlier this month running on biomethanol, Methanex said in a statement on its website on Monday.

The fuel was a blend of ISSC-certified methanol with negative net carbon emissions with natural gas-based methanol, resulting in net zero emissions overall for the 18-day voyage.

Methanol is steadily gaining in prominence as an alternative marine fuel, driven mostly so far by several orders of large methanol-fuelled ships by the container segment. Large-scale uptake is unlikely in the short term before green methanol supply in sufficient quantities is rolled out to all of the biggest bunkering hubs, but the engine and infrastructure technology is largely in place for methanol to be used as a mainstream fuel.

"This is another example of what we can collectively accomplish in our long-term partnership with Methanex and Waterfront Shipping that was solidified in early 2022 when we purchased a 40 per cent interest in Waterfront Shipping," Kazuhiro Takahashi, executive officer for the bunker business division at MOL, said in the statement.

"The use of methanol, which can be readily adopted today, is one of the very promising alternative fuels.

"We are also contributing to various stages of supply chain through the development and usage of alternative fuels in the global shipping industry."