Stena Germanica back in service, burning methanol

MARCH 31, 2015 — Following a conversion in the Remontowa shipyard, Poland, that started in late January,  Stena Line's Stena Germanica is now back in service between Kiel, Germany, and Gothenburg, Sweden, as the world's first methanol fueled ferry — and Stena Line has become the world's first shipping company to operate with environmentally friendly methanol as the main fuel.

"We are very enthusiastic about methanol's possibilities and it has the potential to be the maritime fuel of the future. We want to pursue change and development in the shipping sector and, with the Stena Germanica, our environmental impact will be completely different to what the industry has seen before," says Stena Line CEO, Carl-Johan Hagman.

Since early 2015, vessels in the Baltic and North Sea SECA area, will have to use fuel with very low sulfur content of 0.1% (the prior fuel restriction was 1.0%). MGO meeting the new sulfur limit is substantiallu  higher in price compared to  HFO (heavy fuel oil).
Stena Line has been running a number of projects to look at other alternative fuels and different techniques for emission purification such as LNG, electric propulsion and scrubbers.

"Due to our size we have a broad perspective on handling the new sufur regulations and it is likely we will use some different types of solutions in the coming years. However, based on the results of the methanol project we are intending to convert additional ferries, said Mr. Hagman prior to the Stena Germanica conversion (see earlier story).

Methanol is a biodegradable, environmentally friendly and cost efficient fuel that reduces the emissions of sulfur and particles by 99 percent. The ferry's fuel system and engines have been adapted in the shipyard in a collaboration between Stena Line and Wärtsilä, which developed a new engine conversion kit and ship application in cooperation with Stena Teknik. The dual fuel engine will use methanol as the vessel's main fuel grade but will have the ability to use MGO (Marine Gas Oil) as a back-up.

The conversion project was carried out with support from the EU's Motorways of the Seas program and has had a total cost 22 million euros.

Stena Germanica

  • LOA: 240 meter      
  • Built: 2001
  • Cars:300 
  • Passengers:1,500
  • Lanemeters: 4,000  
  • Engine: Wärtsilä 8ZAL 40S MD producing 32,000 horsepower

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