More news on methanol as marine fuel in LR’s Horizons magazine, issue 42, January 2015. The first article is about the upcoming conversion of Stena Germanica to methanol. The second is about a new MethaShip project where LR and partners assess the possibility to build new methanol powered cruise ships. 

Direct links to articles: [Stena Germanica Conversion], [MethaShip]

As year 2015 is closing in and it is time to finish the last tasks of 2014 it is also time to look back on what has happened and what we can expect for next year. 

During 2014 interest in methanol seemed to have increased. With no statistical backing I will claim that the exposure of methanol as an alternative fuel for the marine sector has multiplied. There have been articles in marine magazines and even some exposure in the tabloids. I’m quite sure this trend will continue as more reference objects appear and methanol becomes a more established alternative fuel. 

The Stena Germanica conversion continues as she will be docked in January next year making her the first methanol powered ship, hopefully of many more. The new SECA rules will of course come in to force in northern Europe and North America as well, making alternative low sulphur fuels more attractive. 

Expect more to come. For now, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

In the beginning of January 2015 Stena Germanica is due for docking and conversion to methanol. This is a short preview. 

As reported earlier (Small-scale skid mounted methanol plants, 11 March 2014), Maverick Synfuels has been looking at small scale methanol production plants. The company has now released more details of the production plants. 

The aim is to utilize gas reserves at locations where no pipelines are available or not a feasible investment, be is shale oil sites or facilities there biogas is formed such as waste water treatment plants.

The production capacity of the plants range from3,000 to 10,000 gallons per day (11 to 38 m3 per day) with a 5,000 square feet (465 m2) footprint. 

At present a demonstration facility exists in Denver, Colorado but no orders have yet been announced. 

Maverick Synfuels Press Release [Direct link].

USC Symposium on Evolution of Maritime Fuels, Ship Speed and Operational Efficiency

The interest in methanol as marine fuel is clearly growing. During July this summer a symposium on maritime fuels was arranged at the University of Southern California where alternative fuels, such as methanol, was discussed in combination with the impact on the engines, the economics of shipping and on the ports. 

This meeting was a collaboration between the USC Sea Grant Program, the USC Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute and USC’s Paul Hall Endowment for Marine Transportation Studies.  The Loker Institute has studied methanol for many years, led by Professors George Olah and Surya G.K. Prakash whose book, Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy, has inspired other researchers to examine how methanol might practically be substituted for traditional fuels.

The presentations from the meeting are available online at the USC Dornsife website [Direct link].