Photo: Illustration. Photo by Stena Bulk

First China-built methanol-fueled tanker begins sea trials

Chinese shipbuilder Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) has begun sea trials of Stena Pro Patria, the first methanol-powered dual-fuel tanker constructed in the country.

Launched in late 2021, Stena Pro Patria is the first of three 49,900 dwt methanol dual-fuel MR tankers ordered by Proman Stena Bulk, a joint venture between Swedish Stena Bulk and Swiss Proman, in 2019.

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The other two ships, Stena Pro Marine and Stena Prosperous, are currently under construction and are expected to be completed this year.

The shipyard said it is also extending the deal to build three additional ships to the same design.

GSI’s vice president William Zhou described the start of sea trials and testing of the propulsion equipment as ‘a watershed moment’ in the development of methanol as an alternative fuel for MR tankers.

Zhou added that each tanker will significantly slash NOx emissions by using around 12,500 tons of methanol as marine fuel a year powered by a MAN dual-fuel 6G50ME C9.6 engine, without catalyst conversion.

As described, each tanker uses the latest energy efficiency technology including continually controlled combustion, optimised tuning, redesigned and aerodynamic hull lines and an energy shaft generator reducing fuel consumption.

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