Singapore launches commercial methanol bunkering

  • Market: Hydrogen, Oil products, Petrochemicals
  • 28/05/24

Singapore has launched commercial-scale methanol bunkering at the Tuas port, after a successful run of its first simultaneous methanol bunkering and cargo operation (Simops) on 27 May.

Bunkering operations for shore-to-ship, ship-to-ship, and simultaneous cargo operations while bunkering methanol or alternative fuels like ammonia and hydrogen, will now be available at the Port of Singapore, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) announced.

This development comes after MPA's inaugural Simops of Singapore-based shipping firm X-Press Feeders' first dual-fuel engine container vessel. The Rotterdam-bound vessel was refuelled in Singapore with close to 300t of bio-methanol by MPA-licensed bunker supplier Global Energy Trading. The methanol bunkering occurred concurrently while vessel containers were restowed and loaded, and was supported by digitalisation of the bunkering process for near real-time visibility for various stakeholders.

All crew members were trained to handle methanol as a marine fuel and respond to emergencies, given that safety remains a key consideration when bunkering alternative fuels.

X-Press Feeders' vessel was the first of 14 dual-fuel vessels that it has ordered. The China-built vessel is equipped with a German-designed dual-fuel engine and has the flexibility to operate on green methanol. The firm plans to operate its green methanol-powered feeders mostly in the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp-Bruges, where it has a fuel supply contract with chemical manufacturing firm OCI Global.

"We look forward to working with other like-minded partners, including on the use of digital bunkering and mass flow meter solutions, to operationalise the delivery of the new marine fuels in Singapore," MPA chief executive Teo Eng Dih said.

Singapore is steadily advancing towards its multi-fuel transition for maritime decarbonisation. Another ship-to-ship delivery of 1,340t of blended 20pc bio-methanol combined with 80pc of conventional methanol was completed on 24 May. The alternative fuel blend is reported to provide 31pc in CO2 equivalent savings on a tank-to-wake basis as compared to operating on conventional very-low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) for the same distance.

The Argus-assessed price for VLSFO stood at $582.68/t delivered on board (dob) Singapore on 27 May, while prices for B24 were assessed at $720.50/t dob Singapore.


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