Green methanol evolving as fuel of choice

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Ending the “chicken and egg debate” Cargill has teamed up with Mitsu & Co to place an order for two methanol-fuelled Kamsarmax carriers in Japan. The order was reportedly signed last month and the ships are scheduled for delivery at the end of 2025 and in the first quarter of 2026 respectively.  Other carriers signalling the adoption of green methanol fuel in their operations include Maersk, Pacific Basin Shipping, HMM, and MSC.  While LNG is the most popular marine fuel for newbuilds currently, DNV data notes there are 82 methanol-powered ships in operation and on order.

Maersk has 19 green methanol vessels with dual-fuel engines on order, which are at the center of the company’s plans to meet its net-zero emissions target by 2040 across the entire business.  Its venture Maersk Growth has just revealed an investment in Berlin-based startup C1 Green Chemicals AG which specializes in the production of green methanol. C1 has invented new ultra-efficient catalysis for green methanol to be produced from waste biomass or CO2 and H2 and due to the containerized design of the C1-reactor, currently, in the pilot stage, production is possible where sustainable feedstocks are available or close to harbours where green methanol is needed to fuel the vessels.

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