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X-Press Feeders' first dual-fuel ship, Eco Maestro. Photo courtesy X-Press Feeders

X-Press Feeders' first dual-fuel ship, Eco Maestro. Photo courtesy X-Press Feeders

X-Press Feeders Reveals First Green Methanol-Powered Ship

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1380
December 12, 2023

Singapore-based X-Press Feeders is providing new details on its first dual-fuel vessels powered by green methanol.

The company aims to create “green routes” to the Scandinavia-Baltic region of northern Europe starting in early next year.

With a fleet of over 100 vessels, X-Press feeders ranks as the world’s 14th largest ocean carrier by TEU capacity. The company has 14 dual-fuel ships on order, set to be delivered from the first quarter of next year until mid-2026. The 1,200 TEU capacity vessels will have a length overall (LOA) of 148 meters.

The inaugural voyage of the first dual-fuel vessel, named Eco Maestro, is scheduled for the first quarter of next year. Departing from Shanghai, where the ship is being built, it will make its way to the Port of Rotterdam via the Suez Canal.

X-Press Feeders' first dual-fuel ship, Eco Maestro. Photo courtesy X-Press Feeders
X-Press Feeders’ first dual-fuel ship, Eco Maestro. Photo courtesy X-Press Feeders

Notably, Eco Maestro will be the first bio methanol-powered ship constructed in China. Bio-methanol, a renewable energy source derived from organic matter decomposition, will be used for the voyage, contributing to the ship’s “green” status.

While X-Press Feeders remains committed to using green methanol, the availability and distribution of methanol at ports on a global scale pose significant challenges. The company is actively engaging with ports along the route to establish the necessary infrastructure for supplying methanol to ships.

“By embarking on this voyage, we are highlighting the need for collaboration among all industry stakeholders – shipping companies, regulators, port operators, fuel suppliers, logistics companies, freight-forwarders, and beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) – to make sustainable shipping a reality,” said Francis Goh, Chief Operating Officer of X-Press Feeder.

Following its maiden voyage, Eco Maestro will be based in the Port of Rotterdam, operating on a feeder network in Northern Europe. Starting in the second quarter of next year, the vessel will establish green routes connecting Rotterdam to ports in Scandinavia and the Baltic states.

With the Eco Maestro, X-Press Feeders will become the world’s first dedicated feeder carrier to operate a containership powered by green methanol. The company has already secured a firm contract with Dutch fuel supplier OCI Global for the supply of green methanol at the Port of Rotterdam, starting from 2024.

Goh acknowledges the challenges associated with using sustainable fuels, such as the relatively small supply of green methanol. However, he points out that as a feeder operator primarily serving short-sea routes within a limited geographical area, the quantities of bio-methanol available are sufficient for their dual-fuel vessels to operate “closed loop” services. This means that approximately 95% of each round voyage can be powered by methanol, with refueling taking place at the bunkering port after every journey.

Using green methanol will significantly reducing CO2e emissions. Eco Maestro, when deployed on a round voyage service, would save 268kg of CO2e emissions for every TEU carried compared to a similar capacity feeder vessel running on conventional marine fuel, according to the company.

The decision to adopt dual-fuel vessels powered by green methanol aligns the company’s target of achieving a 20% reduction in CO2e emissions by 2035, a 50% reduction by 2040, and ultimately reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

“We understand that there is no single solution to reducing the maritime industry’s greenhouse gas  emissions. To achieve our longtime goals, we need to start taking steps today and this involves  implementing several initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” adds Goh.

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