Stena Line RoPax is world’s first vessel to use recycled methanol as fuel

Written by Nick Blenkey
Stena Germanica

Stena Germanica has just racked up another methanol fueling first.[Image: Stena Line]

In 2015 Sweden’s Stena Line made history by converting one of the largest RoPax ferries in the world, the 240-meter Stena Germanica, to become the world’s first methanol powered ferry (see earlier story).

Yesterday Stena Line racked up another world first when Stena Germanica sailed from Sweden to Germany fueled with recycled methanol. Dubbed “Blue Methanol,” the fuel is recycled from residual steel gases, a by-product of steel gases.

An EU backed project called FReSMe (From Residual Steel gases to Methanol) has been underway since 2015 and it is recycled methanol from that project that was used this week by Stena Germanica.

Recycled methanol is pumped on board Stena Germanica [Photograph: Anna Hult]

Stena Germanica has been operating on methanol since 2015 when its dual-fuel system was converted to allow the vessel to run on both methanol and diesel fuel.

“It is exciting to be part of our sustainable journey and try out another new sustainable fuel. I can confirm that we sailed with the new fuel from Gothenburg to Kiel on June 22 and it worked very well,” says Peter Holm, Chief Engineer, Stena Germanica.

Stena Line says that while methanol is a fossil fuel, it is much cleaner than traditional marine fuel. Sulfur and particulates are reduced by 90% and nitrogen by 60%.

The steel industry and the maritime sector are two of the world’s biggest emitters of CO2, accounting for 6-8% and 2.5% of all CO2 emissions respectively. The FReSMe project, funded by H2020 EU program, aims to demonstrate the whole process that enables the CO2 captured from the steel industry to produce methanol fuel that will be used as fuel in the ship transportation sector.

“This collaboration between the steel and the maritime sectors is the first of its kind and demonstrates that by working together companies from different backgrounds can greatly improve their impact on the climate. For Stena Line this is another successful proof of concept for our methanol conversion ferry and a further bridge towards our aim of fossil free shipping,” says Erik Lewenhaupt, Head of Sustainability Stena Line Group.

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