Berge Bulk, ABS Examine Methanol Refit for Bulk Carrier

By May 1, 2023Marine Fuel

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April 24, 2023

(Seated left to right) Panos Koutsourakis, ABS Vice President of Global Sustainability; and James Marshall, Berge Bulk CEO. (Standing left to right) Arnab Ghosh, ABS Director, Business Development; Sylvain Julien, Berge Bulk Head of Innovation and Newbuilding; Paolo Tonon, Berge Bulk Technical Director. Image courtesy ABS

A Joint Development Project (JDP) to evaluate the feasibility of converting a bulk vessel to methanol fuel propulsion was signed by Berge Bulk CEO James Marshall and ABS Vice President of Global Sustainability Panos Koutsourakis.

Per the agreement, the team will examine the possibility of retrofitting the 300-m, 210,000-dwt heavy fuel oil propelled bulk carrier Berge Mauna Kea to operate on methanol fuel. The six-month study is already underway.

“Retrofitting alternative fuel capability to the global fleet is going to be critical if we are to achieve our sustainability goals. This JDP is blazing a trail that many other vessels will ultimately have to travel as operators look to manage their decarbonization trajectories over a vessel’s lifespan. Methanol is increasingly being recognized as a compelling alternative pathway for owners and operators. With practical benefits related to ease of storage and handling, tank-to-wake carbon intensity reduction, as well as a pathway to carbon neutrality through green methanol, methanol presents an immediate and promising solution,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO.

“Existing technologies are available to convert methanol for use in our engines, whilst there are also procedures for bunkering of methanol and its use onboard,” said James Marshall, CEO of Berge Bulk.”We are confident that this collaboration with ABS will accelerate our efforts towards zero carbon in this energy transition journey.”

Berge Mauna Kea is currently under construction at the Nihon Shipyard in Japan, with delivery expected in mid-2024.