Methanol-Powered Fleet Grows, Sparks New Fuel Tank Options

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  • 230 ships in service to operate on methanol.
  • CH3OH benefits as a future marine fuel.
  • SRC Group introduced Methanol Superstorage.

Methanol as a marine fuel is gaining traction, with 230 ships in service or on order to operate on methanol. Despite its potential, it requires considerably more tank space compared to conventional fuels, reports Seatrade.

CH3OH Benefits

CH3OH offers benefits as a future marine fuel, available in approximately 120 ports worldwide, easy to store, and suitable for new buildings and conversions. It’s seen as a promising alternative fuel due to its handling convenience.

While Clarkson reported a 14% share of tonnage on order for methanol-capable ships (compared to LNG’s 22%), analysts estimate 1,200 ships could run on methanol by 2030.

Green potential

Methanol’s ‘green’ potential is being explored, with efforts to produce it using sustainable energy sources, aiming for carbon-neutral fuel production.

Challenges

Challenges exist, such as its lower energy density compared to diesel and safety concerns due to its low flashpoint, leading to regulations like the need for 600mm cofferdams around fuel tanks.

 Introducing Methanol Superstorage

New technologies are emerging to address these challenges. SRC Group introduced Methanol Superstorage, an innovative tank option not require cofferdams, offering space savings and increased fuel tank capacity.

 Ballast Water Tanks

Another solution by LR and SDC Ship Design and Consult involves installing ballast water tanks instead of cofferdams around methanol fuel tanks, saving space and ensuring safety.

These advancements aim to facilitate easier adoption of methanol as a marine fuel, accelerating the maritime industry’s transition to alternative fuels and contributing to a net-zero shipping future.

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Source: Seatrade