Auramarine rolls out methanol fuel supply system for marine engines

Finnish fuel systems provider Auramarine has invested in the development of one of the industry’s first methanol fuel supply units to meet the demand for methanol as a ‘promising’ future fuel.

Courtesy of Auramarine

The units are suitable for both two-stroke and four-stroke engines and can be adapted to suit the conversion of existing engines to dual-fuel methanol operation.

Auramarine claims it has already received significant interest in the units and is in advanced conversations with shipowners, operators, OEMs, and shipyards on supply and installation, and expects to deliver the first system in 2023.

“Ship owners want to invest in green fuels, but the challenge lies in finding the right solution and inspiring confidence to drive uptake,” John Bergman, CEO of Auramarine, commented.

Methanol is one of the most viable clean fuels, with more than 100 ports worldwide already supplying the fuel. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and full carbon neutrality can be achieved using green methanol. Methanol also effectively reduces NOx, SOx and particulate matter emissions.

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Existing fuel oil tanks can be used for storage with little modification, as methanol can be stored at ambient pressure and temperature. Although methanol has lower volumetric energy density than LNG, the tank arrangements for methanol can still fit in a smaller space as no cryogenic or high-pressure infrastructure is required.

Auramarine’s methanol fuel supply units are said to ensure the safe delivery of methanol from the service tank to the master fuel valve, regulating the flow, pressure and temperature of the methanol to meet the specific requirements of the engine. The system actively maintains the supply pressure within the specified tolerances during load changes and filters the fuel to prevent any impurities from entering the engine.

A pilot fuel system is required for methanol operations in dual fuel engines, and Auramarine has extended its experience of pilot fuel systems for LNG to methanol supply to provide ship owners with single-supplier synergies. The methanol unit can be applied as both a retrofit and for newbuildings.

A dedicated design option for constrained spaces allows the unit to be split into parts for smooth transport and installation, as well as for placing the unit in an optimal location onboard. The most straightforward solution is to install an Auramarine methanol supply unit into an Ex-compliant container on deck, but the system can also be installed in Ex-space below deck as one unit or in several parts, depending on the space available.

“Auramarine is committed to supporting the shipping industry’s roadmap to decarbonisation,” Bergman further said.

“With future fuel uncertainty leading to some ship owners stalling newbuild orders, we need to scrutinise every aspect of the supply process and analyse the supporting fuel supply infrastructure to ensure ship owners are empowered to make the right decision.”

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