28 May 2024

A further step towards a cleaner maritime industry: OCI HyFuels green methanol supplied to X-Press Feeders in Singapore

A further step towards a cleaner maritime industry: OCI HyFuels green methanol supplied to X-Press Feeders in Singapore

To celebrate our first green methanol bunkering with X-Press Feeders in Singapore, we spoke with Barend, Business Development Director, Marine, about the significance of the partnership.

Tell us about the partnership with X-Press Feeders – what fuels are we supplying, where and how?

We have a long-term agreement to supply X-Press Feeders, the world’s largest independent feeder carrier, with green methanol for their new methanol dual-fueled fleet of ships, serving European ports, with OCI bunkering in the port of Rotterdam. We also had the pleasure of supplying the green methanol to fuel the maiden voyage of the first of these vessels in Singapore, the world’s largest bunkering hub.

Why is this a significant moment in the decarbonization of shipping?

While the number duel-fueled vessels is set to grow significantly in the coming years, as maritime regulation in the EU kicks in, X-Press Feeders are first movers in bringing their new-build duel-fuel ships onto the water now. These will be the first feeder vessels sailing on green methanol, making another link in the decarbonization chain, building on the first container vessels fueled by green methanol last year.

The maiden voyage of X-Press Feeders first vessel will see it take on green methanol in the Port of Singapore, making it the first to dock and refuel with green methanol at the port, underlining the Port of Singapore’s commitment to supporting the transition to renewable fuels in the global maritime industry and it’s methanol readiness.

Another important factor is that, along with our partners in the project, we were able to demonstrate that methanol bunkering is possible during simultaneous cargo operations, which is a first in Singapore.

How does this agreement tie-in with OCI’s plan to deliver green methanol via methanol-fuelled bunker barge in Rotterdam?

We have previously announced our partnership with Unibarge to develop the ‘Chicago’ – the first methanol-fueled bunker barge and we will be using the Chicago once it is delivered in the summer this year. This will be yet another step towards end-to-end lower carbon shipping.

What’s driving the shift to cleaner fuels in the next two years?

EU legislation is the biggest driver of change today. The combination of the ETS Martime and FuelEU Maritime are creating demand for lower carbon fuels across the shipping sector. FuelEU Maritime will come into force in 2025, but first-movers like X-Press Feeders are already using alternative fuels like green methanol today and there are others with agreements already in place to start using lower carbon fuels this year.  While the volumes in 2024 are not huge on the global scale, relative to 2023 the demand increase will be significant the growth shows the positive shift towards lower carbon fuels really getting underway.

What kind of scale and volume are we talking about here?

Today, there are around 30 vessels operational already and more than 270 on order to be delivered between now and 2027. In terms of increased demand for lower carbon methanol, this represents over 7.5 million tonnes a year of potential additional methanol demand.

How does it feel to see months of work finally result in lower carbon ships on the water?

It certainly is great seeing the methanol-fueled fleet increasing and we are very pleased to be contributing to low carbon shipping by supplying our green methanol into the future proof vessels already sailing today.

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