MOL, Mitsubishi Gas ink charter deal for dual-fuel methanol carrier

Japanese shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has signed a basic agreement with compatriot Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company for a long-term charter of a dual-fuel methanol carrier.

Since MOL delivered Japan’s first methanol carrier, the Kohzan Maru (first generation), to Mitsubishi Gas Chemical in 1983, the two companies have built a partnership centered on the ocean transport of methanol.

The vessel will be the first dual-fuel methanol carrier to sail under a long-term charter for a Japanese company, and with the signing of the basic agreement, the two companies aim to further expand their cooperative relationship.

The methanol carrier will be able to run on either methanol or conventional heavy fuel oil. The vessel, slated for delivery in 2025, will be built at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard.

According to MOL, methanol fuel can reduce sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions by up to 99%, particulate matter (PM) emissions by up to 95%, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by up to 80%, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 15% in comparison to burning conventional marine fuel.

It is already in practical use and available for bunkering at about 130 major ports around the world.

In the future, net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can be reduced by using methanol derived from non-fossil raw materials, such as e-methanol produced by CO2 captured from diverse sources of emissions, hydrogen produced using renewable energy sources, and biogas-derived biomethanol.

MOL operates one of the world’s largest fleets of methanol carriers, with a total of 19, and in 2016, started operating dual-fuel methanol carrier that can run on methanol fuel. The company currently operates five methanol dual-fuel methanol carriers.

In January, the MOL-owned Cajun Sun completed the world’s first net zero voyage using biomethanol.

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