Proman adds two more methanol-powered ships to its newbuilding tally

Switzerland-based Proman has finalised an agreement to build two additional 49,900 dwt methanol dual-fuel MR tankers, bringing its total investment to six methanol-powered newbuildings.

Proman, which is the world’s second-largest methanol producer, will be the sole owner of the Provident and Progressive, alongside the Promise which is due to be delivered in the third quarter of 2022.

Proman Provident and Progressive
Proman Provident and Progressive; Image credit: Proman

“This is a significant and exciting investment for Proman. It reflects not only our continued growth but also our commitment to leading the way to a greener shipping future,” David Cassidy, Chief Executive of Proman, said.

“Methanol has huge potential to bridge the gap from fossil to fully renewable fuels, with its clean-burning and biodegradable qualities making it particularly attractive as a marine fuel.”

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The new vessels will also be built at Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI), scheduled for delivery in Q4 2023. Once delivered, the Provident and Progressive are intended to be traded globally for shipping chemicals and clean petroleum products.

The vessels will be integrated with continually controlled combustion systems, optimised tuning, redesigned and aerodynamic hull lines, and an energy shaft generator, helping reduce fuel consumption and meet strict emissions criteria.

They will utilise the same vessel design and MAN B&W 6G50ME-C9.6 MW Tier III engines as the Promise and Proman Stena Bulk-owned trio.

According to Proman, each vessel will use approximately 12,500 tonnes per annum of methanol as a marine fuel.

“Using widely available ‘grey’ methanol produced from natural gas, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the vessels’ normal commercial operations will be significantly reduced compared to conventional marine fuels, including the virtual elimination of sulphur and particulate matter, 60% reduction of nitrogen oxide and 10-15% cut in carbon dioxide,” the company said.

Anita Gajadhar, MD of Proman Marketing, Logistics and Shipping, added that with regulatory approval from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and growing uptake, availability, ease of handling and highly scalable sustainable pathway ‘make methanol hard to beat as the shipping sector’s pathway fuel to the future.’

“With the combined advances in vessel design, engine technology and the use of low-emission methanol fuel, these newbuildings will set a new benchmark for sustainable future-ready MR tankers,” Gajadhar noted.

The vessels join Proman’s three methanol dual-fuel tankers jointly owned with JV partners Stena Bulk with whom they plan to continue cooperation when it comes to the project management of the shipbuilding.

As informed, Stena will also provide ship management services for the Promise, Provident and Progressive via its subsidiary Northern Marine.