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British Columbia-based Waterfront Shipping has entered into a time-charter agreement with commodity trading giant Trafigura for the methanol-powered dual-fuel medium-range product tanker MT Mari Innovator.
Waterfront Shipping is a subsidiary of Methanex, the world’s largest producer and supplier of methanol, and is pioneering the use of methanol as a marine fuel. Out of Waterfront’s current 30-vessel fleet, 18 have methanol dual-fuel capability and have accumulated over 123,000 operating hours on methanol fuel. The company has a 19th dual fuel tanker on order with delivery expected next spring.
“Trafigura plays a vital leadership role in the energy transition and for it to recognize that methanol marine fuel offers a clear pathway towards a low carbon shipping industry will help build the platform to drive change,” said Paul Hexter, President of Waterfront Shipping.
Built in 2021, the 49,999 dwt Mari Innovator is co-owned by Waterfront Shipping and Clean Sea Transport.
Andrea Olivi, Head of Wet Freight for Trafigura, said the time-charter agreement aligns with Trafigura’s advocacy for industry-wide action to tackle shipping emissions.
“We’re excited about the cooperation with Waterfront Shipping and Clean Sea as we explore and learn also how methanol technology can integrate with our fleet to achieve our carbon intensity reduction goal of 25 per cent by 2030 across our entire chartering operation,” Olivi said.
Methanol, which can be produced from renewable sources, is drawing wide interest in shipping as a promising marine fuel for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, most notably carbon dioxide. As a cleaner-burning marine fuel, conventional methanol already meets the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) emissions regulations, significantly reducing sulphur oxides by 99 per cent, nitrogen oxides by up to 80 per cent, and particulate matter by 95 per cent compared to heavy fuel oil.
“Methanol is also liquid at ambient temperature, safe, easy to handle, widely available, fully compliant with IMO Tier III regulations and can be produced from renewable sources—offering a clear transition pathway to decarbonization,” explains Hexter.
Modi Mano, CEO at Clean Sea Transport, commented: “The Mari Innovator is our third-generation dual-fuel vessel and offers a number of advantages to Trafigura including the flexibility to diversify fuel options or consume methanol for potential cost savings. It is equipped with the latest technological innovations and fuel consumption is particularly low for a medium-range tanker.”
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