Waterfront Shipping Company Ltd. (WFS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Methanex Corporation, has announced the addition of eight new methanol dual-fuel vessels to its fleet. These vessels are part of the company’s fleet renewal program which continuously replaces older vessels with newer more efficient ones, strengthening its commitment to safe, responsible and reliable transport of cargo.

In partnership with Marinvest/Skagerack Invest (Marinvest), Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), Meiji Shipping Co., Ltd. (Meiji Shipping), KSS Line Ltd. and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), these vessels will add to WFS’s existing fleet of 11 methanol-fuelled ships, which have been recognized by the marine industry for their use of clean-burning methanol as a lower emission fuel. Having surpassed more than 90,000 combined operating hours, the vessels have proven methanol as a viable marine fuel solution; methanol is compliant with the most stringent emissions regulations without the need for exhaust gas after-treatment and meets IMO Tier III NOx emissions standards. As a marine fuel, methanol also reduces in-sector CO2 emissions by up to 15 per cent when compared to conventional marine fuels.

“We are proud that approximately 60 per cent of our 30-ship fleet will be powered by lower emission, methanol-fuel technology upon delivery of this latest order,” said Paul Hexter, President, Waterfront Shipping Ltd. “Having operated methanol-fuelled vessels for over four years now, we know that methanol is a practical, cost-competitive and safe marine fuel for the commercial shipping industry in the post-IMO 2020 marketplace. We are excited to be expanding our methanol-fuelled fleet with these new vessels that benefit from the latest technological advances to optimize engine efficiency and performance.”

The eight, 49,999 deadweight tonne vessels will be built in South Korea at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard and delivered to WFS between 2021 and 2023. Designed with MAN second-generation B&W ME-LGIM two-stroke dual-fuel engines, the vessels can run on methanol or traditional marine fuels allowing for fuel flexibility. In addition, methanol can be produced from renewable sources offering a pathway to meet the IMO’s decarbonization goals, without further investment or compatability issues with the current dual-fuel engine technology.

Marinvest’s Chairman, Patrik Mossberg added, “Our first two methanol-powered ships were delivered in 2016, with an additional two delivered in 2019. We have had exceptional performance from the vessels during their time in operation—both in reliability and efficiency when running on methanol. As ship owners, it is important that we, at Marinvest, spread awareness across the industry of the success of methanol as a simple to adopt, cost-competitive, future-proofed marine fuel.”

Methanol is one of the world’s most widely traded chemicals and is readily available at almost 90 of the top 100 ports worldwide. As a liquid fuel, established bunkering infrastructure for traditional marine fuels can easily be converted to use methanol. According to the IMO, “methanol is estimated as the fourth most significant marine fuel used and is growing.” Waterfront Shipping’s addition of new methanol-fuelled vessels will support this growing global demand.

“MAN developed the ME-LGI engine concept in response to interest from the shipping world to operate on alternatives to heavy fuel oil,” said Thomas S Hansen, Head of Two-Stroke Promotion & Customer Support at MAN Energy Solutions. “The ME-LGIM dual-fuel engine operates on methanol, heavy fuel oil (HFO), marine diesel oil (MDO) or marine gas oil (MGO). When operating on methanol, the engine uses HFO, MDO or MGO as a pilot fuel, significantly reducing emissions of NOx , SOx, CO2 and PM. Any operational switch between methanol and other fuels is seamless.”

Waterfront Shipping, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Methanex Corporation, is a global marine transportation company specializing in the safe, responsible and reliable transport of bulk chemicals and clean petroleum products to major international markets in North America, Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America. Waterfront Shipping operates the world’s largest methanol ocean tanker fleet with vessels from 3,000 to 50,000 deadweight tonnes. Its fleet of 30 modern, deep sea tankers forms a seamless transportation network dedicated to keeping an uninterrupted flow of methanol moving to storage terminals and customers’ plant sites around the world. Methanex is a Vancouver-based, publicly-traded company and is the world’s largest producer and supplier of methanol to major international markets.

Marinvest is a private shipping and investment group, part owners and managers of product and chemical tankers. Holdings include investments in tankers of about 80,000 dwt, chemical tankers between 20,000 to 50,000 dwt, a developing coastal shipping company and real estate.