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Marine Fuel

Methanol can be either a chemical feedstock or a conventional or alternative fuel. This flexibility creates opportunities for methanol in the transition to a low-carbon economy. Methanex will continue to promote the emissions benefits of methanol in all its forms and support a pathway for a transition to low-carbon methanol. We will also continue to leverage our investments to develop a market for conventional and alternative methanol as a transition fuel.

Marine fuel

Methanol is a safe, proven, cost-competitive marine fuel for the commercial shipping industry that can meet or exceed current and planned emissions regulations.

Shipping accounts for nearly 3 per cent of global GHG emissions and there is growing global demand for lower-emission marine fuel. To reduce the shipping industry’s environmental impact, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted mandatory measures to reduce carbon intensity, as well as emissions of sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM), from international shipping. With methanol available at over 100 of the world’s largest ports, its use as a marine fuel can help the shipping industry meet these increasingly strict air emissions regulations.

Methanol can reduce SOx and PM emissions by more than 95 per cent, and NOx by up to 80 per cent compared to conventional marine fuels.

Methanol can reduce CO₂ emissions during combustion by up to 15 per cent compared to conventional fuels on a tank-to-wake (TtW) basis and can be carbon neutral on a well-to-wake (WtW) basis when made from renewable sources, providing a “future-proof” pathway to global and industry decarbonization goals.

Methanol is available at more than 100 of the world’s largest ports.

  • As a liquid product, methanol is safe to transport, store, and bunker using regular safety procedure
  • Dual-fuel engine technology is already available.
  • Renewable methanol and bio-methanol are compatible with current methanol dual-fuel engine technology, offering a clear pathway to decarbonization without future investment or compatibility issues.

The use of methanol as an alternative marine fuel was pioneered by our Waterfront Shipping subsidiary and our shipping partners. In 2016, we took delivery of the world’s first methanol tanker, and since then, have added new methanol vessels to our fleet and worked with engine partner MAN and other partners to refine the technology to 3rd generation for adoption by the shipping sector.

Today, Waterfront Shipping has 19 – 50,000 DWT methanol dual fuel vessels operating representing about 60 per cent of our total fleet.

In 2021, Waterfront Shipping demonstrated the first-ever barge-to-ship methanol bunkering operation at the Port of Rotterdam. The Takaroa Sun became the first methanol-powered ship to be fueled by a standard barge, proving that methanol is safe to ship, store, handle and bunker using procedures similar to those for conventional marine fuels, and with only minor modifications and minimal incremental cost.

As the world’s largest producer and supplier of methanol, Methanex takes pride in our leadership role in advancing the use of methanol as a cleaner-burning marine fuel and supporting the shipping industry in its journey to significantly reduce emissions.

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How Methanol is Produced
Vehicle Fuel & Thermal Applications