Gothenburg issues methanol STS bunkering guidance

Thursday, 05 May 2022
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Authorities at the Port of Gothenburg have published the first guidance for ship-to-ship methanol bunkering at the port, as part of an ambition to accelerate the uptake of ‘carbon neutral marine fuel’.

The port authority also announced plans to establish Gothenburg as the primary bunkering hub for renewable methanol in Northern Europe, building on existing LNG infrastructure. The next step in the port’s plans to diversify clean fuel bunkering is a proposed methanol hub at the site, a move which was recently approved by the Swedish Transport Agency.

“From the Port of Gothenburg, we want to support this by enabling these vessels to take bunker at their convenience. Therefore, we are happy to share that we have received acceptance from the Swedish Transport Agency for the general methanol operating regulations for ship-to-ship bunkering. This work has been finalized after great support from Saeed Mohebbi from the Swedish Transport Agency,” Christoffer Lillhage, Senior Business Development Manager Energy at the Gothenburg Port Authority, commented.

Transition pathway

The Gothenburg Port Authority has long supported LNG as a pathway fuel to reduce emissions and has invested heavily in bunkering infrastructure to drive the transition to bioLNG. In 2019, the port opened its first bioLNG bunkering facilities, signing an agreement with agreement FordonsGas and Swedegas to ensure supply of the fuel.

Last year, the port opened a new route to the Port of Zeebrugge, served by a newbuild LNG vessel utilising bioLNG.

The Port of Gothenburg is the largest port in Scandinavia and handles around 30% of Swedish domestic and foreign trade and around 50% of all container traffic.

Methanol growth

The widespread availability of methanol globally and its relative ease of production have spurred many manufacturers to invest in development of methanol ready engines. Methanol is available for bunkering at over 88 of the world's top 100 ports and is one of the top five chemical commodities shipped globally.

“We hope to see Maersk, X-press Feeders and many other shipping lines routing their new methanol vessels to the North of Europe and we would be delighted to welcome them with open arms to the largest port in Scandinavia,” Elvir Dzanic, CEO of the Gothenburg Port Authority, said.

X-Press Feeders is currently the world´s largest independent feeder carrier and has announced major investment in methanol as a shipping fuel, with plans to launch new vessels in 2023.

“As a technology solution provider, we follow the market demand and do not have any particular say in which future fuel is the most ideal in the short- and long-term future-fuel landscape,” Hrishikesh Chatterjee of MAN Energy Solutions explains. “However, we see a very strong market pull towards Methanol as a future fuel and our well proven technology is an enabler for Methanol to be competing with LNG & other future fuels.” 

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