LR and Stena Line team up on methanol ferry retrofit project

UK classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR) and Swedish ferry company Stena Line will work together on a project to retrofit two fast roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) vessels with methanol propulsion.

Courtesy of LR

The conversion will see the Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII RoRo ferries, which operate on the Scotland to Northern Ireland route between Cairnryan and Belfast, converted to methanol dual-fuel propulsion with the vessels transferring class to LR.

As part of the project, the retrofit process will convert two out of the four main engines in each vessel to run on methanol alongside marine gas oil (MGO). The ship’s bunkering, storage, fuel supply and supporting systems will also be adapted for methanol.

Stena Line’s ferry Stena Germanica was converted to be capable of running on methanol in 2015. Classed by LR, Stena Germanica is the only retrofitted methanol vessel in service and will provide valuable experience for the project to convert Stena Superfast VII and Stena Superfast VIII, according to the class society.

“The project to retrofit the Stena Superfast VII and VIII with methanol dual-fuel propulsion underlines Stena Line Ferries and LR’s shared commitment to sustainability and the importance of embracing alternative fuels for a more sustainable future,” Paul Herbert, Principal Technology Specialist, Lloyd’s Register, said.

“Leveraging our expertise and experience gained from the successful conversion of the Stena Germanica in 2015, we are poised to deliver another groundbreaking solution that will pave the way for greener and more efficient ferry operations.”

“As we continue to implement our strategy to decarbonise our operations, we still see methanol as a viable alternative fuel that will help us achieve this ambition. Lloyds Register with their knowledge and experience from supporting the conversion project of Stena Germanica nine years ago will once again be able to provide the necessary support with these retrofits of our existing tonnage,” Ian Hampton, COO Fleet & Government Affairs, Stena Line Ferries, commented.

“In the process, it will make them more sustainable by reducing CO2 emissions and encouraging the technology and development needed on our ongoing journey towards fossil free shipping.”

LR’s recent Fuel for thought: Methanol for Passenger Ships report shows that methanol is increasingly technically viable for shipowners, however, infrastructure and investment need to be prioritized for widespread adoption.

Related Article