For the first time, DNV GL has given an approval in principle for a standard design of a methanol-powered tanker. The design was made by the Korean shipyard Hyundai Mipo, engine manufacturer MA and the Methanol Institute, which promotes the use of the alternative fuel worldwide.

According to the companies, the construction costs are about ten per cent higher than for a ship sailing on fuel oil, but lower than the more than twenty per cent higher costs of an LNG dual fuel vessel.

This is a vessel with a cargo capacity of 54,000 cubic metres, which, with a full methanol tank, has a range of 17,400 nautical miles, more than 30,000 kilometres. The methanol installation will cost approximately 300 cubic metres of carrying capacity. The ship can also sail on very low sulphur fuel oil giving it a range of over 40,000 kilometres, just enough to sail around the globe.

No sulphur emissions

According to Chris Chatterton of The Methanol Institute, CO2 emissions from methanol are about fifteen per cent lower than from conventional marine fuel. In addition, there are no sulphur emissions and almost no particulates. ‘This vessel design demonstrates that newbuild or conversion can be straightforward and cost effective and extends the trading life of the asset as it can use renewable Methanol as more becomes available he says.

This article first appeared in Dutch on Nieuwsblad Transport, a publication of SWZ|Maritime’s publishing partner Promedia.