Alternative fuels in shipping
The world’s first ocean-going ships capable of operating on methanol are about to be delivered to operator Waterfront Shipping Co. In a ground breaking event, three methanol-propelled tankers were delivered in April from South Korean and Japanese shipyards. Another four methanol-burning ships are scheduled to enter service in October this year.
The seven 50,000 dwt product tankers will be used to replace older vessels and expand Waterfront’s fleet of methanol carriers. The new ships each have MAN B&W’s dual-fuel, two-stroke engines ME-LGI, which can run on methanol, fuel oil, marine diesel oil or gasoil. Two of the vessels will be owned by Westfal-Larsen Management (WL), three by Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and the other two by a joint venture between Marinvest and Skagerack Invest and Waterfront. The ships are constructed by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard and Minaminippon Shipbuilding Co.
LNG as Marine Fuel
Qatar and Royal Dutch Shell have agreed to develop liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel for use by the world's largest container shipping company. Qatargas, the world's largest LNG producer, said the three companies signed a memorandum of understanding which sees Qatargas 4, a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and Shell, producing the fuel for use by Maersk Line. Most shipping companies currently use heavy fuel oil, or bunker fuel, to propel their vessels although LNG as marine fuel has been used by some ships in the past decade.
DNV GL, an international energy and shipping certification agency, says while most of the industry will continue to use heavy fuel oil for now, LNG is being used more, in part because it more easily meets current and proposed emission rules. In a 2015 report, DNV GL said 63 LNG-fuelled vessels were already operating globally with another 76 ships being built that would use the new fuel. In contrast, Maersk has just under 600 ships operating, including some of the biggest in the world.