Guidance on methanol as marine fuel has been published for shipowners considering methanol as an option in both the near-term and long-term to reduce emissions as they work towards decarbonisation.

ABS methanol whitepaper

The ABS ‘Methanol as Marine Fuel’ whitepaper evaluates the challenges in design and operation of methanol-fuelled vessels. Photo: ABS

The ABS ‘Methanol as Marine Fuel’ whitepaper evaluates the challenges in the design and operation of methanol-fuelled vessels. The guidance builds on ABS research developed in 'Setting the Course to Low Carbon Shipping: Pathways to Sustainable Shipping', to help drive decarbonisation pathways for the industry.

“Due to its potential to reduce the CO2 footprint of marine operations, applications of methanol are drawing a wider interest from owners of oceangoing vessels, short sea shippers, ferries, cruises, and inland waterway vessels,” said Georgios Plevrakis, ABS director, global sustainability. “While methanol’s uptake and application as a marine fuel is only beginning, ABS is committed to ensuring owners, operators, shipbuilders and original equipment manufacturers are fully informed about its potential as they develop their decarbonization strategies.”

IMO go-ahead

In November 2020, the Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted interim guidelines on the use of methanol as a marine fuel, making ethyl and methyl alcohols options for shipowners and operators. Twelve methanol powered ships are already in operation, with another 10 on order.

“We welcome the ABS Guidance Methanol as Marine Fuel as a timely addition to the body of reference material available to help designers, shipyards, owners and charterers understand the opportunity that methanol presents,” said Gregory Dolan, chief executive officer, the Methanol Institute.

By Rebecca Jeffrey