Ropax celebrates methanol milestone

2020-04-27T09:35:25+00:00 April 27th, 2020|Technology|

Stena, Wärtsilä, and Methanex Corp have celebrated five years’ operation with the methanol-fuelled ropax ‘Stena Germanica’.

She was the world’s first ship to run on methanol as a marine fuel.

‘Stena Germanica’ was converted to be able to run on methanol in early 2015 at Remontowa Shipyard in Poland. The 240 m long ferry, with a capacity for 1,500 pax and 300 cars, was retrofitted with the first fuel-flexible Wärtsilä 4-stroke engine that can run on methanol or traditional marine fuels.

She started the world’s first methanol-powered sailings between Gothenburg, Sweden and Kiel, Germany in late March, 2015.

“Being the owner of the world’s first ship with methanol-fuel represented a great step on our journey to become the leader in sustainable shipping, and is an achievement we are very pleased to share as we mark the five-year anniversary of ‘Stena Germanica’s’ successful operation on methanol,” said Carl-Johan Hagman, Head of Shipping & Ferries at Stena AB. “The project took shape thanks to excellent co-operation between Methanex and Wärtsilä, and many areas within Stena.”

“’Stena Germanica’s’ retrofit is yet another example of Wärtsilä’s leading position in bringing to the market innovative systems that increase efficiency and support environmental sustainability. The use of methanol as a marine fuel is likely to increase in the future, and high quality, reliable, smart technologies are essential to success,” added Toni Stojcevski, General Manager, Sales & Development, Wärtsilä Marine.

As part of its programme aimed at using viable sustainable fuels, Wärtsilä is continuing to invest in methanol for marine fuel applications, and further development work and testing procedures are planned, the company said.

As a marine fuel, methanol is compliant with the IMO’s 2020 regulations by reducing Sulfur oxides (SOx) by around 99%  and has the ability to meet Tier III Nitrogen oxides (NOx) regulations without exhaust after-treatment. It is also well positioned globally as a marine fuel, as it is available at more than 88 of the world’s top 100 ports.

“Our aim has always been to take a leadership position by being at the forefront of innovation in commercial shipping,” said Stuart McCall, Director, Business Development at Methanex. “Thanks to projects like this, methanol has been proven as a safe, reliable, and cost-effective marine fuel, and we continue to uncover innovative technological advances that optimise the performance and efficiency of the fuel as the market for methanol-powered vessels keeps growing.”

‘Stena Germanica’s’ conversion was a co-operative project between Methanex Corp, Stena Line, Wärtsilä, the Port of Gothenburg, and the Port of Kiel. The work was co-financed by the European Union and the classification of the conversion project was conducted by Lloyd’s Register.