”Winds of Change in the Methanol Industry?” – The headline of a blogpost and Clarksons. As several methanol production facilities is reportedly being planned in the US and a number of new methanol carriers have been announced Clarksons reflect over the current situation.

”It seems obvious now that with the huge capacity due to come online that the US will have a lot of volume available for export and so some sort of fleet expansion of the methanol carrying fleet was bound to happen.”

The last words of the blogpost could very well have been copied from my mind, let’s see what will happen and how long it will take for methanol to become, as we believe, an established marine fuel as well.

“All we know for now is that this market is developing fast and the next few years will be exciting for all involved!”


Read the full post at Clarksons [Direct link]

Platts.com report that the Asian methanol price is expected to continue down in April.

Since the beginning of March the Asian methanol prices have fallen $115/MT to be assessed at $345/MT CFR China Tuesday.

The expected fall is said to be due to a ramp up in production in Southeast Asia and an influx of Iranian methanol to the market.

Petronas was thought to have sold around 90,000 MT of methanol during March for delivery into China in the first half of April, and pushing out another 100,000 MT to the US Gulf Coast on favourable arbitrage economics.

"Shipping is an issue. Most vessels are being used by them [Petronas] as they need to move out cargoes every day, [which are] all lined up until April and [they are] now already looking at May loading [vessel] fixing," a Singapore-based trader said according to Platts.com. .

According to traders, the total import volume of methanol into China in April is estimated to exceed 300,000 MT, with the vast majority expected to be of Iranian origin.

Read the original article at Platts.com [Direct link]



All tough most news on this website relates to large scale methanol production, preferably from renewable sources, and marine applications for methanol as fuel the news about small scale production units is certainly of interest. 

Maverick Synfuels and PPE, Inc. has announced a partnership to manufacture and sell small-scale Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) methanol plants. The skid-mounted plants has a capacity of between 13-44 m3 (3000 – 10 000 gallons) methanol per day. 

"PPE and Maverick have solved the puzzle of low-cost methanol production with our small-scale GTL platform," said Jeff Harrison, Chief Engineering Officer of Maverick Synfuels. "This partnership accelerates the deployment of Maverick's commercialization strategy and economic pathway to revenue."

The press release report that the first methanol plant from the PPE/Maverick partnership is destined for deployment at a large-scale dairy in the upper Midwest where Maverick will leverage the synergies between three existing anaerobic digesters. “A proven supply of low-cost biogas combined with the transportation logistics and operational synergies gives Maverick a substantial economic advantage in this market,” said Harrison.

Read more at EIN NEWSDESK or at Maverick Synfuels


Newly discovered catalyst could lead to the low-cost, clean production of methanol

Scientists from Stanford University, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Technical University of Denmark have discovered a catalyst for methanol production that could lower the cost of methanol production. 

The catalyst is based on nickel-gallium instead of the commonly used copper, zinc and aluminum based catalyst.

"Methanol is processed in huge factories at very high pressures using hydrogen, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide from natural gas," said study lead author Felix Studt, a staff scientist at SLAC. "We are looking for materials than can make methanol from clean sources, such as sunshine, under low-pressure conditions, while generating low amounts of carbon monoxide."

The results are published in the March 2 online edition of the journal Nature Chemistry.

Read more at Stanford University news page.

TOKYO-Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd has announced a contract with Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) to build and charter four methanol carriers. The new ships will replace older vessels. 

“Global demand for methanol is expected to grow and MOL will continue expanding its services to meet the needs of a broad range of customers, building on its extensive experience and know-how as a worldwide leader in methanol transport,” MOL said in a statement.

MOL previously signed a deal with Waterfront Shipping to build two (with an option for one additional) methanol carriers with flexi fuel engines able to operate on methanol.

Press release