Saturday, October 24, 2020
Maritime Propulsion

July 14, 2020

Chinese Study Examining Methanol as a Marine Fuel

© ibreakstock / Adobe Stock

The Methanol Institute (MI) has joined a study led by the China Waterborne Transportation Research Institute (CWTRI), the think tank of the Chinese Ministry of Transport, which will consider the technical and operational requirements for the use of methanol as a marine fuel. The study is supported by methanol producers and distributors Methanex  and Shanghai Huayi Energy Chemical Co., Ltd.

Based on the characteristics of China’s energy and shipping industries, the study will create comprehensive guidance and policy suggestions for the use of methanol as a marine fuel, reflecting the experience already gained in large and small methanol-fueled marine engines, and will develop a roadmap for the adoption of methanol as a marine fuel in China.

“China is progressive in developing clean alternative fuels for its energy diversification and pollution control,” said Ji Yongbo, Director of Shipping Technology Research Center of CWTRI, which has also played an important role for alternative marine fuels by providing policy research and management service for Chinese policy makers.

“Methanex currently operates 11 dual-fuel methanol-powered vessels globally through our wholly-owned-subsidiary Waterfront Shipping,” said Zhang Jianning, President, Methanex China. Our experience to date has proven methanol as a safe, reliable, cost competitive and IMO 2020 compliant marine fuel and this study will provide an opportunity to decisively strengthen the offering of methanol as a widely available, future-proofed marine fuel in China.”

“China has a sharp focus on air quality and emissions control for the transportation industry on a national basis, we see potential opportunities for methanol to be used as an alternative fuel,” said Guo Min, Deputy Chief Engineer and Manager of Development Department, Shanghai Huayi. “Huayi contributed to the methanol vehicle pilot in Shanghai, providing M100 fuel for the taxi fleet. As IMO has confirmed in its interim guideline that methanol is a safe and compliant low flash point marine fuel, methanol can find its role in the sustainable development of China’s waterborne transportation sector.”

“China is the largest producer and consumer of methanol globally and it has been used safely in the country for many years, not only as a building block for the manufacturing of chemicals, but also as a clean fuel in industrial boilers, passenger vehicles and heavy duty trucks,” says Methanol Institute Chief Operating Officer Chris Chatterton. “We welcome the study by CWTRI which will support the use of methanol as a clean burning marine fuel.”