Japanese shipowner Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and its compatriot Marubeni Corporation have reached an agreement in Russia to explore options for methanol shipping from the country’s Amur Region.
MOL and Marubeni have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Development of the Far East and the Arctic Regions, Russian state development corporation VEB.RF, VTB Bank, and ESN Group for a joint study to build, operate, and utilise a dual-fuel methanol carrier.
The vessel would ship methanol as marine fuel which the ESN Group plans to produce from natural gas in the Amur Region of Russia should the demand for common vessels grow in the East Asian region in the future.
The project partners will consider introducing a methanol-fuelled ship that can reduce emissions of SOx by up to 99%, particulate matter (PM) by up to 95%, NOx by up to 80% and CO2 by up to 15% compared to conventional fuel oil.
Marubeni and MOL said they will drive the project in collaboration with customers and partners in Japan and overseas, and in cooperation with government-related organisations, with the aim of further reducing the environmental impact of ocean transport.
MOL has been exploring the methanol market for several years. Earlier this year, Japan’s largest shipowner acquired a 40% stake in Waterfront Shipping, the tanker subsidiary of methanol producer Methanex.