Waterfront Shipping, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Methanex Corporation, has demonstrated the ease of barge-to-ship bunkering as part of the launch this week of the world’s first barge-to-ship methanol bunkering operation at the Port of Rotterdam. Waterfront Shipping’s Takaroa Sun, a long-term chartered vessel owned by Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), participated in the operation as the inaugural methanol-powered ship to be fuelled by a commercial bunker barge.
Methanol is globally available and has similar storage needs to conventional fuels
The bunkering operation took place at the Vopak Terminal Botlek of Royal Vopak with a bunker barge, MTS Evidence, operated by TankMatch.
“Waterfront Shipping has been operating methanol-fuelled ships for over five years now, accumulating over 100,000 combined operating hours—and has been bunkering methanol for its methanol dual-fuelled vessels via cargo shore pipelines near Methanex’s production facilities,” said Paul Hexter, president of Waterfront Shipping. “When appropriate safety measures are followed, we know that methanol is safe to ship, store, handle and bunker using procedures similar to conventional fuels. Today’s methanol bunkering demonstration is another step in helping the shipping industry with its journey to reduce emissions.”
Waterfront Shipping recently ordered an additional eight methanol-fuelled vessels to be delivered between 2021 and 2023—with this latest order, approximately 60%of its 30-ship fleet will be powered by methanol dual-fuel technology.
Dick Richelle, commercial director of Royal Vopak, commented: “Methanol is globally available and has similar storage needs to conventional fuels. This demonstration proves that methanol bunkering is a safe and realistic option as a clean-burning fuel with a sustainable pathway.”