Hafnia bets on methanol

Hafina, the Michael Skov-led product tanker arm of the BW Group, is investing in a methanol production facility.

Hafnia has come onboard for a $10m joint venture with Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW) at the port of Kalama in Washington state in what it states in a release is its ongoing “ambition to pursue the development and implementation of sustainable and modern clean technologies”.

Our strategy is to support industry decarbonisation while still transporting the resources necessary to sustain the world

“This initiative is another example of our strategy to support and promote industry decarbonisation while still transporting the resources necessary to sustain the world. We recognise the world is changing, and that the ways we operate and conduct business need to change with it. While there is much uncertainty as to exactly what the future will look like, we’re confident that the steps we’re taking have Hafnia, our stakeholders and the industry moving in the right direction,” said Skov, Hafnia’s CEO.

NWIW is developing a 3.6m tonnes per annum methanol production and export facility at the port of Kalama. The plant will convert regionally sourced natural gas to methanol, which will then be transported via ship – the equivalent of an MR cargo every four days – for use in dedicated materials pathway production in Asia. Hafnia will provide and operate purpose-built next-generation methanol dual-fuelled ships to transport one-third of the methanol volume produced by the plant. These vessels will be tied to 19-year charters.

Skov, and his boss, Andreas Sohmen-Pao, are avowed fans of methanol as one of the possible fuels of the future for shipping.

Sohmen-Pao said last week at an industry event organised by class society DNV GL that his company is looking at methanol, biofuels and ammonia on its path towards decarbonisation.

Hafnia was one of the partners involved in a much read report issued last month that suggested renewable ammonia could eventually power 30% of the global maritime fleet.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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