Alfa Laval

Alfa Laval fuel supply system for industry’s first methanol boxship retrofit project

Danish shipping giant Maersk has selected Alfa Laval fuel supply system FCM Methanol for its pioneering methanol retrofit project.

Alfa Laval FCM Methanol 3rd generation

The project aims to enable the container vessel Maersk Halifax to operate on methanol fuel.

As explained, the joint project is a significant achievement for both Alfa Laval and Maersk, underscoring the feasibility of retrofitting ships with the necessary equipment for methanol-based propulsion.

Under the deal, the Swedish sustainable solutions provider will support Maersk with the installation of FCM Methanol low-flashpoint fuel supply system (LFSS) on board the 15,000 TEU Maersk Halifax. The retrofit is expected to be carried out by mid-2024.

This pioneering container vessel conversion will enable the ship to sail on green methanol with dual-fuel capabilities.

“We have set an ambitious net-zero emissions target for 2040, and retrofitting of engines on our vessels to run on methanol is an important nut in our strategy. Retrofitting solutions to accommodate new fuel thereby enabling the engine to operate on methanol is a complex task that requires expertise, and we are happy to have Alfa Laval on board on this project,” Ole Graa Jakobsen, Head of Fleet Technology, A.P. Moller-Maersk, said.

The project will involve adding a new fuel line for methanol alongside the traditional fuel line, respecting the existing space constraints and the tight time schedule. The retrofit of the FCM Methanol is a landmark project that requires advanced engineering and understanding of the practical considerations of working with methanol, according to Alfa Laval.

“The project with Maersk gives us a unique opportunity to take up a new challenge – retrofitting our equipment for methanol use, for the first time. We are immensely proud to extend our expertise to this innovative retrofit project,” Viktor Friberg, Head of Marine Separation & Fuel Supply Systems, Alfa Laval, commented.

In October, Maersk signed its first methanol dual-fuel conversion project with Chinese shipbuilder Zhoushan Xinya Shipbuilding. The momentous deal signified the inception of the world’s maiden containership methanol dual-fuel conversion project.

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Maersk is planning to expand the retrofit project on a number of sister vessels when going for a special survey in 2027.

The company currently has 24 containerships on order. All of them will be equipped with dual-fuel engines and will be able to operate on green methanol. The first unit is scheduled for delivery in January 2024.

In related news, Chinese shipping company COSCO Line is also embarking on a journey to retrofit some of its containerships for methanol propulsion. The company teamed up with compatriot COSCO Heavy Industry Shanghai, a COSCO Group shipyard, to retrofit four main engines of a containership quartet to methanol.

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