Photo: Proman Stena Bulk

Proman, Stena to support industry’s methanol era with new retrofit and supply solution

Swiss-based integrated energy company Proman has teamed up with Swedish shipping company Stena to develop a retrofit and supply solution that will allow vessels to run on methanol as a marine fuel.

As informed, the new solution will be used to power both Stena’s vessels and third-party ships and is expected to contribute to lowering CO2 emissions.

“By switching to this clean-burning fuel, methanol-powered vessels can lead the transition to a lower carbon future and significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated by conventional oil-based fuels bringing an immediate improvement in air quality around ports and shipping lanes,” according to Proman.  

The two companies started their cooperation on the promotion of methanol as a marine fuel back in 2019 when they formed a joint venture, Proman Stena Bulk Limited.

The plans for the new solution also build on the previously announced joint venture between Stena Bulk and Proman for three methanol-ready tankers. The first of these vessels, the 49,900 DWT Stena Pro Patria will be delivered in early 2022, with a further three Proman-owned but mutually operated dual-fuel vessels due in 2023.

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The global shipping industry is responsible for around 2.9% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which equals almost 1 billion metric tons of CO2 each year. Unchecked, emissions could increase by as much as 130% from 2008 levels by 2050.

Transitioning to low-carbon fuels will be essential to secure the long-term future of the industry and meet International Maritime Organisation (IMO) emissions reduction targets for 2030 and 2050, but still-developing technologies and the long lifetime of existing vessels makes this challenge even bigger.

Methanol produced from natural gas can bring an immediate CO2 reduction which will be further reduced to over 90% as renewable and sustainable methanol becomes more widely available as marine fuel.

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Sulphur oxides (SOx) and particulate matter emissions can be eliminated and nitrogen oxides (NOx) could be cut by about 60%. Furthermore, methanol’s biodegradable and water-soluble qualities significantly reduce the risk to marine environments.

Methanol is the only available alternative marine fuel that offers immediate emissions reductions, dramatically improving air quality and delivering a clear shipping decarbonisation pathway for 2050 and beyond. Unlike other alternative marine fuels, methanol utilises existing technology and is safe and widely available,” David Cassidy, Chief Executive of Proman, commented.

“We believe that methanol is a clear frontrunner in shipping’s search for fuels beyond the fossil default and we are proud to be playing our part to help build the market for alternative fuels within shipping. We converted Stena Germanica to methanol power already in 2015 with another current partner, and that gives us valuable experience both from a conversion and operational perspective,” Per Westling, CEO Stena RoRo concluded.