COSCO, bp to bolster cooperation on hydrocarbons transportation, methanol bunkering and offshore wind

Chinese shipping major COSCO Shipping and global oil giant bp inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of strategic cooperation at Marintec in Shanghai.

Image credit COSCO Shipping

The strategic cooperation memorandum outlines plans to expand the scope of collaboration, exploring new avenues for cooperation. Key areas of focus include Castrol marine lubricants, hydrocarbons transportation, offshore construction, and potential partnerships in methanol supply for bunkering and the offshore wind supply chain.

Simon Yang, bp Group Senior Vice President and bp China President, and Chen Wei, Deputy Head of the Operations Division of COSCO SHIPPING, signed the document on behalf of the two parties.

William Lin, bp Group Executive Vice President, and Lin Ji, Executive Vice President of COSCO SHIPPING, attended the signing ceremony as well.

bp and COSCO SHIPPING have a longstanding history of cooperation, including the transportation of energy products, offshore equipment manufacturing services, and the supply of marine fuels and lubricants.

COSCO’s move towards methanol aligns with its broader strategy to promote clean fuels in its fleet in support of the shipping industry’s decarbonization efforts.

Earlier this week, COSCO Line revealed plans to retrofit four main engines of containerships belonging to its ‘Camellia’ and ‘Virgo’ class. These vessels, boasting capacities of 13,800 and 20,000 TEU respectively, are set to become the first in COSCO’s fleet to sail on methanol. The retrofit is a result of a partnership with China’s COSCO Heavy Industry Shanghai, which will use MAN Energy Solutions’ dual-fuel methanol-powered ME-LGIM engines.

The retrofitting project includes an option for an additional nine vessels from the ‘Virgo’ and ‘Pisces’ classes, with COSCO Heavy Industry Shanghai providing a complete turnkey solution. The first vessel is scheduled for retrofit in Q2 2025.

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In addition, COSCO Shipping Holdings had previously ordered twelve 24,000 TEU methanol dual-fuel containerships worth $2.87 billion, emphasizing its significant investment in methanol-powered vessels.

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The company is actively involved in establishing China’s first green methanol industrial chain, collaborating with State Power Investment Corporation (SPIC), Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG), and China Certification & Inspection Group (CCIC). The initiative aims to cover production, transportation, refueling, and certification of green methanol for ships, aligning with the industry’s move towards green, low-carbon, and intelligent shipping.

China COSCO Shipping Corporation is the merged entity of China Ocean Shipping (COSCO) and China Shipping.

The group commands a fleet of 1394 vessels with a capacity of 113.82 million DWT. Ranking first globally, its container fleet boasts 3.02 million TEU. The corporation’s prowess extends across shipping, terminals, logistics, finance, ship repair, and shipbuilding, with a network of 56 terminals and an annual container throughput of 131.79 million TEU. It also dominates bunker fuel sales at 28.30 million tons and holds the third-largest container leasing business at 3.91 million TEU.