Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. has ordered methanol carriers with the world’s first methanol burned dual-fueled low-speed diesel main engine. This engine building has already been completed, and its manufacturer, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., has test-operated the unit using methanol fuel in Tamano Works, and confirmed that it met expected performance.
MOL ordered methanol carriers, which will be equipped with this diesel main engine, from Minaminippon Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.. The vessels will be delivered in 2016, and serve for Waterfront Shipping Company Limited (*1) under a long-term charter contract.
By burning methanol with this diesel main engine, emissions of CO2 and NOx are significantly less when burning methanol rather than fuel oil. Thus, methanol is an important fuel that does not include SOx and can replace fuel oil and thereby place fewer burdens on the environment. Besides using methanol to drive the main engine, the new vessel will be one of the first to install the ballast water treatment system and energy saving devices fitted in front and behind the propellers to help improve fuel efficiency. In other words, this new vessel will offer very eco-friendly performance.
As one of the world’s largest methanol carrier owners, MOL will expand its methanol transport service by meeting a broad range of customer needs with use of the know-how and experience it has accumulated. As part of its environmental strategy, MOL has carried forward its initiatives on air pollution prevention, and continues to take a proactive stance in adoption of various technologies that help reduce the environmental burden of its activities.
Study to evaluate the safety of this dual-fuel engine and methanol supply system was supported by the next-generation marine environment-related technology development support program of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. It was also chosen as a joint research theme by the Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK).
(*1)Waterfront Shipping Company Limited (WFS):
The company is wholly owned by Methanex Corporation (President: John Floren), one of the largest methanol producers and traders in the world. WFS is engaged in the ocean transport of that methanol
(*2)Please refer to this press release of December 10, 2013:
MOL, WFS Sign Deal to Build, Charter Methanol Carrier
(*3)Ballast water treatment system:
Ballast water that is expelled from the ship as it is being loaded, may contain aquatic organisms, which may adversely affect the marine ecology and result in the transfer of species not native to the area, and, from the late 1980s, ballast water became an international issue. This resulted in the IMO adopting the Water Ballast Management Convention in February 2004. MOL advocates its policies and measures aimed at “contribution to conservation of biodiversity,” and efforts to have the convention ratified have moved forward, and it should soon be the rule of the sea.