Methanol expanding in bulker segment

By Jack Burke14 February 2023

MAN Energy Solutions sees “surge” in interest in methanol

A bulk-carrier newbuild will be powered by a MAN Energy Solutions methanol-fueled engine.

MAN said its licensee, Mitsui E&S Machinery, will supply the individual MAN B&W 6G50ME-LGIM (-Liquid Gas Injection Methanol) engine for a 65 700 dwt bulk carrier slated for construction at Tsuneishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.

“For Tsuneishi Shipbuilding, which is striving to build methanol-fueled ships with the aim of becoming a front-runner in next-generation-fueled ships, securing a high-value-added engine through this contract is an extremely important step,” said Sachio Okumura, representative director and president & executive officer of Tsuneishi Shipbuilding, said.
We will continue to focus on technological innovation together with engine manufacturers in order to provide our customers with zero-emission ships that are both environmentally friendly and economical.”

As a fuel, methanol can be carbon-neutral when produced from renewable energy sources and bio-genic CO2. The production capacity of such green methanol is currently increasing significantly; it is also liquid at ambient conditions, which simplifies tank design and minimizes costs, MAN Energy Solutions said. The company said its methanol engine requires a fuel-supply pressure of just 13 bar and that a number of manufacturers already offer such fuel-supply systems today.

Ichiro Tanaka, president and representative director of Mitsui E&S Machinery, said customers are increasingly interested in next-generation fuels, and methanol is one of the promising fuels.

Bjarne Foldager, senior vice president and head of Low-Speed, MAN Energy Solutions, agreed.

“In a market that has seen a rapidly increasing demand for decarbonized transport from its major players, the interest in methanol as a fuel has surged and – at this moment in time – represents more than 30% of all our current, open pipeline projects across a broad range of vessel segments,” Foldager said. “As such, seeing bulk carriers now also entering this fuel segment is completely in line with our expectations and these newbuildings will benefit greatly from the option to operate either on methanol or conventional fuel with equally high fuel efficiency.”

MAN Energy Solutions developed the ME-LGIM dual-fuel engine for operation on methanol as well as conventional fuel. The engine is based on the company’s proven ME-series, with its approximately 8500 engines in service, and works according to the Diesel principle. When operating on green methanol, the engine offers carbon-neutral propulsion for large merchant-marine vessels.

MAN developed the ME-LGI engine in response to interest from the shipping world in operating on alternatives to fuel oil in order to reach decarbonization targets. Methanol carriers have already operated at sea for many years using the engine, and, as such, the ME-LGIM has a proven track record offering great reliability and high fuel efficiency.

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