The world’s first ship that runs on methanol will soon go international waters. SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden handled the necessary fire risk assessment based on SOLAS regulation 17 ” Alternative design and arrangements ”
Stena Germanica is a ferry that takes vehicles and passengers across the Baltic Sea . This area along the North Sea and English Channel is a ” sulfur emission control area ” ( SECA ), where stricter rules to minimize emissions have given the maritime industry some difficult challenges.
Many companies have chosen to use LNG , liquefied natural gas , to meet the requirements and avoid exhaust aftertreatment . An important advantage of the use of methanol is simplified transportation and storage , since the fuel is liquid at room temperature.
Another major advantage is that methanol can be produced from biomass, which opens the possibility to operate in a completely renewable fuel. Methanol was therefore used for Stena Germanica to meet the new rules , Franz Evegren , fire researchers at SP Technical research Institute.
Fire risk assessment was performed by SP as part of the methanol conversion project at Stena and involved the classification society Lloyd’s Register , the engine manufacturer Wärtsilä and ship designer ScandiNaos as key partners.
Stena German Formica new fire protection design was approved by Sweden in January 2015. At the end of the same month began the yard of the new fire protection installations. By managing all introduced fire hazards , Stena now sure that fire safety has not only maintained but improved by conversion to methanol.
The conclusions of this project and planned future research will facilitate safe conversion to environmentally friendly ship fuels in the future, said Franz Evegren .