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Stena Bulk increases its bet on methanol as a future marine fuel

Press release from Stena Bulk

Stena Bulk partnership to build third Methanol-ready tanker to join the Prman Stena fleet

Proman Stena Bulk Ltd has finalized an agreement to build an additional vessel under its joint venture partnership. The methanol-powered Stena Prosperous will join the Stena ProPatria and the Stena ProMare in the Proman Stena fleet in H2 2022. Each vessel will use 12,500 tonnes per annum of methanol as a marine fuel, significantly reducing emissions in their normal commercial operations compared to conventional marine fuels. 

These new methanol-ready 49,900 DWT vessels will be state of the art, benefiting from several design and technical improvements to optimise energy and fuel efficiency. The latest generation MAN dual-fuel engines will feature revolutionary new water and fuel emulsion technology, which significantly reduces NOx emissions without the need for costly catalytic conversion technology. The vessels will also be equipped with the latest energy efficiency technology, including continually controlled combustion, optimised tuning, redesigned and aerodynamic hull lines, and an energy shaft generator, reducing fuel consumption and helping to meet strict emissions criteria.

For Proman Shipping, these new vessels demonstrate a long-term commitment to methanol as a marine fuel for the future. Ahead of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) updated strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the global shipping industry, due to be adopted in 2023, these vessels will set a new benchmark for mid-range (MR) tanker sustainability.   

The Stena Prosperous will initially be utilised by Stena Bulk within their traded pool of ships for a period of two to three years. The vessel will therefore be the first methanol dual-fuel powered ship traded on the chemicals / CPP market by a conventional shipowner without an active contract to a methanol producer. After this initial period, the Stena Prosperous will then enter into a long-term time charter with Proman Shipping.

This underlines both Stena’s and Proman’s confidence in methanol as one of the most viable and low-emission future marine fuels and their belief in the dual-fuel technology, as well as making methanol more  readily available as a marine fuel for third party shipping companies. 

Methanol is already available at over 100 ports worldwide, including at all major bunkering hubs. It is a clean burning, safe to carry and fully biodegradable fuel, which provides a reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2)emissions, eliminates sulphur oxide (SOx) and particular matter completely, and cuts nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 60% compared to traditional marine fuels.

For Stena Bulk, an internationally renowned ship owner, it further demonstrates the company’s commitment in developing methanol as a widely available and usable marine fuel, aiming to promote and encourage a pathway to greener shipping future.

Erik Hånell, President and CEO of Stena Bulk said: “In Stena Bulk we are very satisfied with the development of our Joint Venture with Proman Shipping, adding one more vessel into our joint venture. We see the strength in our joint commitment leading to new and exciting opportunities for us. It is in Stena Bulk´s objectives to contribute to making the shipping industry more sustainable. This joint venture is taking us in that direction with a partner whom we share many values that we believe will develop the shipping industry with new features driving improved performance and efficiency”.

David Cassidy, Chief Executive of Proman, said: “This is an opportunity to build on the already excellent work we have achieved with Stena in our joint venture, which is now a three-vessel programme for the industry-leading IMOIIMeMAX dual-fuel vessels. These new vessels demonstrate our commitment to leading the transition towards methanol as a reliable marine fuel and are an exciting development for us as vessel owners. The vessels’ state-of-the-art fuel consumption and engine technology represent an important step in the move towards more sustainable shipping. In making Stena Prosperous available to the general market for the transportation of chemicals, we seek to encourage other producers to gain experience with these innovative methanol-powered vessels and to benefit from the significant reduction in emissions that operating these vessels will deliver”.

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