JP Morgan confirms deal for methanol-powered chemical tankers

J.P. Morgan Global Alternative’s Global Transportation Group (JPMGTG) has confirmed a deal for the construction of two dual-fuel methanol chemical IMOII medium-range (MR) newbuilds.

Illustration; Image credit Hafnia

Boasting a 49,800 deadweight capacity, the ships will be built at Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) in China. Both vessels are scheduled to be delivered in 2026 and will be fixed on time-charter to TotalEnergies.

J.P. Morgan came out with the confirmation of the order a month after shipbrokers announced the deal.

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The order marks the company’s first order in the methanol fuel space inspired by the growing momentum for the solution driven by the container shipping and dry bulk sectors.

JPMGTG already has experience in investing in LNG dual-fuel vessels and described this step into a new fuel type as a way of setting up an ‘additional vector of green transportation.’

“We are excited to be expanding our footprint in a new fuel technology, in line with our GHG reduction investment orientation,” Andrian Dacy, Global Head, J.P. Morgan Alternative’s Global Transportation Group, said.

“We are also pleased to have expanded our partnership with Total Energies, with whom we have developed a range of initiatives across a number of transportation segments. We look forward to working together in supporting TotalEnergie’s global commitment to a clean energy future.”

“In the midst of the rapid expansion of methanol as a marine fuel, TotalEnergies is taking a significant step forward by introducing MR tankers propelled by dual fuel methanol technology into our time-chartered fleet,” Jerome Cousin, Senior Vice President Shipping at TotalEnergies, said.

“This initiative aligns with the company’s commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of our shipping activity. With LNG as marine fuel already implemented on our larger size tankers, integrating methanol in its lower GHG content form, will play a key role in steering the carbon emissions reduction across our fleet

TotalEnergies has already inked a time-charter for four methanol dual-fuel chemical tankers with Singapore-based Hafnia. GSI is also building these newbuilds. Three of the four vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2025, while the fourth is expected to join the fleet in 2026.

The utilization of green methanol on vessels is capable of eradicating SOx and Particulate Matter (PM) pollutants, while delivering a 60% reduction in NOx emissions. Furthermore, when measured on a tank-to-wake basis, it achieves nearly 100% reduction in CO2 emissions when compared to conventional marine fuels.