PCL, PaxOcean, ABS to explore retrofitting ships to run on methanol

Singapore-based shipping company Pacific Carriers Limited (PCL) and compatriot PaxOcean Holdings Pte (PaxOcean) have teamed up with classification society ABS to explore the use of methanol for the PCL’s fleet.


The partners have recently signed a joint development project (JDP) to study methanol as an alternative fuel for the PCL fleet. Under the JDP, ABS will evaluate the means and impact of retrofitting a PCL vessel with a propulsion system powered by methanol as an alternative low-carbon fuel option.

“This partnership with ABS and PaxOcean is part of PCL’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 or earlier. With methanol gaining maturity as a marine fuel, we believe it has great potential to significantly reduce our carbon footprint in the short to mid-term. This study will serve to identify the options we have to adapt our existing ships to handle methanol effectively and safely,” Hor Weng Yew, MD and CEO of PCL said.

“Our collaboration with PCL and ABS brings together collective expertise that allows us to work alongside to accelerate the potential use of methanol as a future alternative fuel for ships which will significantly reduce Singapore’s carbon footprint,” Tan Thai Yong, MD & CEO of PaxOcean added.

“Methanol represents a promising fuel, with practical benefits related to ease of storage and handling, tank-to-wake carbon intensity reduction, as well as a pathway to carbon neutrality through green methanol,” said John McDonald, ABS Executive Vice President and COO.

2022 has been a stellar year for methanol as an alternative fuel for ships as owners look to solutions to decarbonize their fleets. Based on the data from DNV, there are currently a total of 82 methanol-powered ships in operation and on order.

The skyrocketing demand has been attributed to the benefits methanol as a fuel choice brings to the table, including its density, which doesn’t affect the load capacity of ships, the fact that it is relatively safe to bunker, and that it has an attractive price. Finally, methanol is biodegradable which is another advantage in cases of fuel spills.

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