First Barge-to-Ship Methanol Bunkering at Port of Rotterdam
Waterfront Shipping this week performed the first barge-to-ship bunkering of methanol fuel at the Port of Rotterdam.
The bunkering operation took place at the at the Royal Vopak’s Vopak Terminal Botlek using the bunker barge MTS Evidence, which supplied methanol fuel to Waterfront Shipping’s long-term chartered Takaroa Sun. The operation marked the first time commercial bunker barge was used to refuel a methanol-powered at Europe’s busiest seaport.
Waterfront Shipping, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Methanex Corporation (Methanex), operates a fleet of 30 deep sea tankers, including 11 methanol-fueled tankers and eight currently on order. Methanol produces up to 15 percent lower carbon emissions during combustion than traditional fuel oil and is MARPOL Annex VI compliant for SOx emissions, particulate matter and Tier III NOx emissions. When produced from renewable sources, methanol can offer a pathway to meeting future emissions regulations.
“Waterfront Shipping has been operating methanol-fueled ships for over five years now, accumulating over 100,000 combined operating hours—and has been bunkering methanol for its methanol dual-fueled 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.”
As a marine fuel, methanol is globally available at close to 90 of the world’s 100 largest ports and meets strict IMO emissions regulations related to sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter.
“We are increasingly hearing from vessel operators who want to understand their options for lowering their emissions and want a simple path to IMO compliance,” says Andre Nieman, Chief Executive Officer of TankMatch, which operates the bunker barge used in the operation. “Bunkering with methanol requires a similar level of risk assessment and safety management as other conventional bunker fuels and we found this process simple to manage and execute.”
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