Canadian firm to launch proof-of-concept methanol HPDI project for marine applications

Canada-based alternative fuel systems supplier Westport Fuel Systems has revealed plans for a proof-of-concept project to test its High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI) fuel system utilizing methanol for marine applications.

For this project, Westport said it has partnered with a leading global supplier of power solutions for maritime applications (OEM).

The project is expected to start in the first quarter of 2022 and run for approximately nine months. It will be fully funded by OEM.

According to Westport, the project marks the potential application of the HPDI fuel system for use with marine applications, serving as an initial proof-of-concept project utilizing methanol. It also signifies the possibility of an expansion of Westport’s HPDI fuel system beyond the LNG applications commercially available now and the hydrogen applications demonstrated to date.

“We are excited to continue to demonstrate Westport’s HPDI fuel system as a sustainable solution for hard to abate sectors like marine applications. Westport’s HPDI technology is versatile and can be used with a range of low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels,” said Scott Baker, Vice President of Global Engineering for Westport Fuel Systems.

“Demonstrating methanol capability with HPDI further validates our proprietary technology as an affordable solution to decarbonize the marine sector. Our fuel system is expected to provide similar torque, power, and efficiency to diesel, while also potentially reducing NOx emissions utilizing easily accessible and lower cost methanol as the fuel.”

Methanol’s advantages such as adaptability to existing engines, potential for blending, and global availability are causing a surge in global methanol-ready shipbuilding orders. Recent data from DNV Maritime show that, since the beginning of the year, 23 methanol-fueled ships have been added to the Alternative Fuels for Shipping Index (AFI) database.

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