methanol-powered feeder

World’s 1st methanol-powered boxship completes Europe’s inaugural methanol bunkering on final leg to Copenhagen

Slowly but surely the world’s first containership powered by green methanol is making its way from South Korea to its final destination of Copenhagen where it will be christened in September.

A.P. Moller-Maersk

The 2,100 TEU boxship, built by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, has arrived in the Port of Rotterdam, the final stop on the ship’s pioneering maiden voyage, having sailed along one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, from Korea, via Singapore and the Suez Canal before reaching Europe.

The Port of Rotterdam is also the vessel’s fourth bunkering stop. Namely, the containership has been refueled with green methanol by OCI Global, taking on OCI HyFuels green methanol for the final leg of its maiden voyage.

The ship received its inaugural fueling at the Port of Ulsan, South Korea on July 16, and made a stop in Singapore on July 27, where it received another batch of green methanol via Hong Lam Marine’s tanker MT Agility.

A week ago, the vessel made a bunkering stop in East Port Said port, Egypt after transiting the Suez Canal, the world’s fastest maritime crossing.

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The latest operation is also the first-ever green methanol bunkering operation in Europe. The bunkering marks a major milestone for the Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port and bunker hub, in the future decarbonization of European shipping and supply chains.

Image credit: the Port of Rotterdam

“OCI Global and the Port of Rotterdam have a longstanding partnership, working together on a number of decarbonization initiatives. OCI Global operates the Port of Rotterdam’s only ammonia import terminal, which it is in the process of expanding to triple its throughput capacity, in anticipation of growing demand for ammonia as cleaner fuel for hard-to-abate sectors, including as a future marine fuel,” the company said.

Earlier this year, OCI also announced its partnership with Unibarge to develop the world’s first dual-fueled bunker barge powered by green methanol, which will be deployed at the Port of Rotterdam next year.

The 21,500 km trip from Ulsan, South Korea to Copenhagen, Denmark will provide real operational experience for Maersk seafarers handling the new engines and using methanol as fuel, as the company prepares to receive a fleet of new, large ocean-going methanol-enabled ships from 2024.

Namely, the feeder will be followed by 25 large ocean-going vessels of 9,000-17,200 TEU capacity which are scheduled for delivery in 2024 and 2027.

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OCI Global’s renewable and low carbon fuels brand, OCI HyFuels, is the first company in the world to provide commercially ready low-carbon fuel available to the marine sector. The company struck a deal with Maersk in June 2023 to provide green methanol for the ship’s entire maiden voyage.

The company sees the ship’s journey as an opportunity to develop and share bunkering guidelines among the global ports involved that will help form a framework for future green methanol-powered ships.