Eastern Pacific Shipping agreed with Dutch fuel provider OCI and engine manufacturing giant MAN Energy Solutions to retrofit some of its existing tankers and build methanol engine and ammonia engine newbuilds.
Commenting on this decision, the shipping line’s CEO, Cyril Ducau, said that converting the existing conventional fleet to burn methanol creates a unique opportunity to continue lowering the carbon footprint significantly and rapidly.
In the meantime, developing ammonia-fuelled conversion and newbuilding projects will help develop more mature zero-carbon solutions in the longer-term.
In addition, Ahmed El-Hoshy, CEO of OCI, believes that methanol and ammonia are the fuels of the future, and expressed his excitement to play a part in the transition to zero carbon through this partnership.
According to El-Hoshy, shipping would likely start by adopting grey/blue methanol and ammonia and then change to green.
In a similar move, container shipping major Maersk accelerates the efforts to decarbonise marine operations with the launch of the world’s first carbon neutral liner vessel in 2023, seven years ahead of the initial 2030-ambition.
As the company explained, all future Maersk-owned new buildings will have dual fuel technology installed, in order to enable either carbon neutral operations or operation on standard very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO).
Maersk’s methanol feeder vessel will have a capacity of around 2000 TEU and be deployed in one of its intra-regional networks.
At the same time, the vessel will be able to operate on standard VLSFO, while the plan is to operate the vessel on carbon neutral e-methanol or sustainable bio-methanol from day one.
Both the methanol-fueled feeder vessel and the decision to install dual fuel engines on future newbuildings are part of Maersk’s ongoing fleet replacement. CAPEX implications will be manageable and are included in current guidance.