Six companies form strategic alliance to develop Japan’s first methanol-fueled domestic tanker

Mitsui OSK Lines, Ltd., MOL Coastal Shipping, Ltd., Tabuchi Kaiun Co., Ltd., Niihama Kaiun Co., Ltd., Murakami Hide Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. and The Hanshin Diesel Works, Ltd. agreed to form a strategic alliance aimed at reducing environmental impact through the development of a domestic methanol fueled tanker.

The vessel development project, which aims to deliver the vessel in 2024, has also been selected to receive public funding through the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Lands, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), “Subsidy for ‘Project on improving transport efficiency using AI/IoT (Innovative Vessel Operations Efficiency Demonstration Project national)’.

Methanol can reduce sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions by up to 99%, particulate matter (PM) by up to 95%, nitrogen oxide (NOx) by up to 80% and carbon dioxide (CO2) by up to 15%, compared to ships using conventional fuel oil, which is currently the main fuel for marine vessels. Methanol has exceptional properties for use as a fuel, as it is liquid at normal temperatures and normal air pressure. Methanol fuel has been more widely introduced on oceangoing vessels as an environmentally friendly fuel, including four vessels operated by the MOL Group, but this will be the first domestic vessel fueled with methanol.

Additionally, methanol can be produced with CO2 and hydrogen as feedstock. So, in the future, it can be produced using the CO2 capture and transport activity to synthesize hydrogen, which uses electricity derived from renewable resources such as offshore wind and wave power. Power. If this methanol can be used as a fuel, it can establish an environmental circulation type economic model, allowing a reduction in net CO2 emissions.

The six alliance partners will each orchestrate their advantages in technology, expertise and networks aimed at achieving a decarbonized society.

The funding subsidizes the costs necessary to carry out the demonstration project with the aim of optimizing global transport by introducing measures on software aspects such as vessel operation planning and optimization of cargo handling operations. , as well as hardware-based steps such as designing energy-efficient ships. , high efficiency propulsion systems and systems and equipment to improve cargo handling operations.

News from the Sea, March 14