One of the world’s largest shipowners, Singapore-headquartered Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS), is to retrofit a number of the existing vessels in its 15 million dwt fleet to burn methanol and ammonia fuels.
Eastern Pacific is making this move in partnership with MAN Energy Solutons and Netherlands bases OCI N.V., a major global producer and distributor of nitrogen and methanol products.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed today, select MAN-engined conventional vessels from Eastern Pacific’s existing tanker fleet will be retrofitted to allow them to be powered by methanol and ammonia which will be supplied by OCI.
OCI intends to charter the first retrofitted vessel from EPS.
Additionally, Eastern Pacific will construct newbuild vessels with MAN engines powered by the same two alternative marine fuels.
“EPS is proud to partner with industry-leaders OCI and MAN with a shared vision to push our industry towards decarbonization and environmental preservation,” said EPS CEO Cyril Ducau. “As a leading tonnage provider, EPS has taken a firm stance that sustainability begins with accountability. This means we have a responsibility to implement emission lowering solutions available today while simultaneously developing solutions for tomorrow.
“Converting our existing conventional fleet to burn methanol creates a unique opportunity to continue lowering our carbon footprint significantly and rapidly. In the meantime, developing ammonia-fueled conversion and newbuilding projects will help develop more mature zero-carbon solutions in the longer-term. We are excited about the next steps and to share our findings with the industry.”
The partnership says the MOU is “an example of not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good,” as the technology to retrofit vessels to run on methanol exists today while using methanol and ammonia on newbuilds is still a few years away.
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“We view these initiatives as closely aligned with our own strategy of cooperating with external partners to develop sustainable technologies,” said Brian Østergaard Sørensen, Vice President and Head of R&D, Two-Stroke Business at MAN Energy Solutions. “Methanol and ammonia are very interesting candidates as zero-carbon fuels. In fact, we have already introduced a methanol-burning two-stroke engine, while we expect to deliver the first ammonia-fueled engine in 2024. MAN Energy Solutions is fully committed to the maritime energy transition and the development of technology that exploits alternative, clean fuels.”
“For us, the path to decarbonizing the maritime industry starts with fuel decarbonization,” said Jens Seeberg, Head of Retrofit & Upgrade at MAN PrimeServ Denmark. “Happily, the flexibility of the ME-C engine enables us to retrofit the existing fleet into methanol-fueled vessels that have a significantly reduced environmental impact. We look forward to moving with our industry partners towards these sustainable goals.”
Ahmed El-Hoshy, Chief Executive Officer of OCI N.V., commented: “Methanol and ammonia are the fuels of the future and we are excited to continue to play a part in the transition to zero carbon through this partnership.”