Methanol burning dual-fuel tankers are a glimpse into the future

By August 16, 2019 August 18th, 2019 Marine Fuel

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16 Aug 2019 by Craig Jallal

Tanker Shipping & Trade editor Craig Jallal today attended the naming ceremony of Mari Couva and Mari Kokako, which mark a new generation of methanol burning product chemical tankers

Marinvest of Sweden and partners Waterfront Shipping and Methanex are today (Friday 16 August 2019) celebrating the naming ceremony of two 49,000-dwt second-generation product chemical tankers, Mari Couva and Mari Kokako at the Hyundai Mipo shipyard in South Korea.

The vessels will use their Jotun zinc-coated tanks and Framo deep-well pump-equipped tanks to carry methanol as a cargo on behalf of methanol producer Methanex on long-term charter. One of the slop tanks will be used as a methanol fuel tank.

The earlier first-generation Marinvest product chemical tankers have amassed over 55,000 hours running on methanol, and with engine partner MAN Energy Solutions, the methanol dual-fuel concept has been optimised.

This includes a water injection system developed by MAN and Alfa Laval which increases engine efficiency while lowering emissions.

The new generation 50,000-dwt MR2 Hyundai Mipo built tankers require a tiny amount of traditional marine fuel as a pilot fuel to use in the methanol burning process and can achieve Tier III requirements without a scrubber. This was developed after the initial contract and both vessels have scrubbers installed, allowing them to burn either residual marine fuel or methanol and effectively increase the cruising range if both fuels were burnt.

Marinvest chief executive Patrik Mossberg believes the ready availability of methanol and relatively simple conversion of electrically controlled main engines such as MAN Energy Solutions’ 6G50MEC9 makes methanol a viable alternative to LNG as a marine fuel.

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