Berge Bulk chief executive James Marshall and ABS vice president of global sustainability Panos Koutsourakis signed the joint development project (JDP) agreement which will see the companies explore the possibility of retrofitting the 300-m heavy fuel oil-propelled bulk carrier Berge Mauna Kea to operate on methanol fuel.
A six-month study is underway, and the partners will collaborate on a broad range of subjects from the availability of methanol fuel and practicalities of bunkering to reviewing the technical and economic aspects of the conversion. “Retrofitting alternative fuel capability to the global fleet is going to be critical if we are to achieve our sustainability goals,” said ABS chairman, president and chief executive Christopher J Wiernicki.
Mr Wiernicki said methanol is a “compelling alternative pathway for owners and operators. With practical benefits related to the ease of storage and handling, tank-to-wake carbon intensity reduction, and a pathway to carbon neutrality through green methanol, methanol presents an immediate and promising solution.” The 210,000-dwt Berge Mauna Kea is currently under construction at the Nihon Shipyard in Japan with delivery expected in mid-2024.
Methanol As Marine Fuel
The project is another step forward in the development of methanol as a marine fuel and underscores the fuel’s growing momentum. Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines, which is already running dual-fuel methanol tankers, is pioneering its use in the coastal trades. Liner shipping giant Maersk has committed to building nearly 20 methanol-fuelled vessels with the first scheduled for delivery Q1 2024 and there are initiatives in the passenger ship segment.
“Berge Bulk is committed to our target of achieving net-zero carbon by 2025. We see methanol as one of the solutions towards these ongoing decarbonisation efforts…” said Mr Marshall.
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