Proman Stena Bulk rounds off 2022 with 4th methanol-powered tanker
Proman Stena Bulk, the joint venture between tanker company Stena Bulk and methanol producer Proman, has taken delivery of its fourth methanol-fuelled tanker, Stena Prosperous.
The 49,990 DWT vessel was built by Guangzhou Shipyard International Co Ltd (GSI) and will now enter commercial operation running fully on methanol.
Guangzhou Shipyard International was hired by Proman Stena Bulk in 2019 to build two dual-fuel chemical tankers powered by methanol. The shipbuilding company is the first Chinese shipyard to build methanol dual-fuel vessels. The ordering tally at GSI has since increased to six vessels.
The delivery caps a marquee year for the joint venture, which now has four vessels actively trading and bunkering fully on the low-emission future fuel. The fourth ship joins the Proman Stena Bulk-owned Stena Pro Patria and Stena Pro Marine, and the Proman-owned Stena Promise, which were all delivered in 2022.
The joint venture fleet has already loaded methanol fuel in Ulsan, Trinidad and Rotterdam in the past year, with other major bunkering hubs to follow in 2023.
Stena Prosperous, like its sister vessels, has a low Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) value while running on methanol which is 11% below the 2025 Phase 3 requirements.
According to the company, the vessels’ ‘future-proofed engine designs’ make the ships ready to achieve every incoming emissions reduction target, as greater quantities of very low-carbon blue and renewable methanol become available for blending and bunkering in the near future.
Stena Prosperous will use approximately 12,500 tonnes of methanol as fuel per year.
Conventional methanol from natural gas, which is widely available, virtually eliminates SOx and particulate matter, the company said. It reduces NOx by 60%, and CO2 emissions from the vessel’s operations by up to 15% on a tank-to-wake basis, compared to conventional marine fuels.
“It’s fantastic to be able to end 2022 with a fourth methanol tanker joining our joint venture fleet. These vessels are truly pioneering and meet the highest standards of safety, sustainability and efficiency, laying down a marker for what is already possible today through progressive partnerships like ours with Proman,” Erik Hånell, President and CEO of Stena Bulk, said.
“We are immensely proud of what our joint venture with Stena Bulk has been able to achieve over the last year. We now have four vessels in operation running on methanol as a marine fuel, which proves that methanol isn’t a future fuel – it’s a today fuel,” Anita Gajadhar, Managing Director, Marketing and Logistics, Proman added.
“Its highly scalable and commercially viable decarbonisation pathway means it is one of best solutions for shipowners to meet sustainability commitments and every incoming emissions target that the maritime industry will face.”
The news of Stena Prosperous’s delivery comes as interest in methanol as a marine fuel reaches new heights. In October 2022, methanol ships were the leading category of newbuild ships on order, and MAN Energy Solutions estimates that around 25% of its order pipeline is for methanol engines across a range of vessel classes.