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Japan’s NS United plans methanol-fuelled bulk carriers

  • : Petrochemicals
  • 24/05/15

Japanese shipping company NS United Kaiun plans to order several methanol-fuelled Capesize bulk carriers, targeting to begin delivery from 2027, as its aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping raw materials for steel production.

NS United Kaiun signed an initial agreement on 13 May with Japanese shipbuilders Imabari Shipbuilding and Japan Marine United and domestic vessel engineer Nihon Shipyard to build several methanol-fuelled ships of 209,000dwt each. The vessels will be equipped with dual-fuel engines, which can burn methanol and conventional marine fuel.

NS United Kaiun expects the future use of green methanol will cut GHG emissions by more than 80pc compared with conventional marine fuel. The company will also co-operate with fuel developers to buy green methanol.

Methanol has emerged as a potential alternative fuel as the marine sector looks to cut its GHGs. Fellow Japanese shipping firm NYK Line also plans to receive six chemical tankers over 2026-29, which will burn very-low sulphur fuel oil but will be designed to convert to use methanol.

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