Chinese shipping giant orders world’s first methanol-powered engine for VLCC

China Merchants Energy Shipping (CMES), the Shanghai-listed shipping giant and daughter company of China Merchants Heavy Industry (CMHI), has ordered a methanol-powered engine that will be installed onboard a very large crude carrier (VLCC).


Dubbed the world’s first for the VLCC segment, MAN Energy Solutions’ (MAN ES) MAN B&W 7G80ME-LGIM main engine will be installed onboard a VLCC being built by Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co.(DSIC).

China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation Diesel Engine (CSE) will build the engine, which will come accompanied by MAN Energy Solutions’ proprietary exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) emissions system.

The new order follows on the heels of CMES’s recent order for six small-bore, seven-cylinder 21/31DF-M, methanol-burning GenSets in connection with the construction of two 9,300 CEU pure car and truck carriers (PCTCs). This was followed by an order for two MAN B&W ME-LGIM main engines for the same vessels.

MAN ES recently received an order for four methanol dual-fuel marine engines from Norwegian shipping and logistic company Wallenius Wilhelmsen. The engines are intended for the recently confirmed four 9,300 car equivalent unit (CEU) car carriers that will be built in China at the Jinling Shipyard (Jiangsu). The ships are scheduled for delivery from mid-2026.

Related Article

“This is a unique project that represents the first such methanol-burning engine within this particular marine segment and which comes from a major VLCC fleet owner. Taking this, and its recent dual-fuel business with us into account, CMES is definitively a first mover to methanol, which we expect will figure prominently as a future fuel across all vessel segments,” Bjarne Foldager, Head of Two-Stroke Business, MAN Energy Solutions, said.

“Switching to low-carbon fuel is the most effective way to decarbonise the existing maritime fleet and we are currently experiencing an increased interest in methanol-powered engines. In tune with this, we recently expanded our methanol portfolio such that its power range now covers all large merchant-marine vessel applications, including VLCCs,” Thomas S. Hansen, Head of Promotion and Customer Support, MAN Energy Solutions, stated.

Germine engine manufacturer MAN ES developed the ME-LGIM  dual-fuel engine for operation on methanol, as well as conventional fuel. According to the company, when operating on green methanol, the engine offers carbon-neutral propulsion for large merchant-marine vessels.