China’s first green methanol industrial chain in the making

A cooperation project for establishing China’s first green methanol industrial chain which aims to propel shipping’s decarbonization has been officially launched.

Illustration; Image by Offshore Energy

COSCO Shipping, State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC), Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG), and China Certification & Inspection Group (CCIC), the companies that are taking part in the project, have signed a memorandum of cooperation to mark the start of the construction phase of the green methanol industrial chain project.

As explained, the cooperation project encompasses the production, transportation, refueling, and certification of green methanol for ships.

Establishing a green methanol industrial chain is seen as necessary for shipping companies to align with the new trend of green, low-carbon, and intelligent shipping, and offer customers sustainable and eco-friendly global supply chain logistics services.

Based on the memorandum of cooperation, the Chinese companies are committed to fulfilling their social responsibilities by promoting “dual carbon” targets and adhering to the principle of complementary advantages and win-win cooperation.

The goal is to leverage their leading advantages in their respective industries to ensure the successful development of all key aspects of the green methanol industrial chain and establish a green methanol industrial chain that meets both domestic and foreign green certification standards.

The parties aim to drive the implementation of the first batch of green methanol production projects in China.

Furthermore, the partners plan to use the construction of this green methanol industry chain as a starting point to prospectively explore and apply other green fuels for shipping, with an aim to deepen their cooperative relations, expand the scope of cooperation, and establish a model of green industry collaboration.

Last year, COSCO Shipping placed an order for 12 methanol dual-fuel container ships, each with a capacity of 24,000 TEU, making them the largest in the world.

The delivery of the newbuilding containerships, each valued at $239.8 million, will be spread across 2026 and 2028.

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Recently, CCS Wuhan Rules & Research Institute, a key institute directly under the China Classification Society, granted an approval in principle (AiP) certificate to Zhejiang Seahead Ship Design and Research Institute Co. for China’s first methanol-fueled bunkering ship.

According to the data from DNV’s Alternative Fuel Insights (AFI) database, the global order for methanol-powered ships exceeded 200 in July.

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