Dutch Fund Research to accelerate methanol as a marine fuel


Furgo Pioneer will convert to methanol as part of the research project (Fugro)

Posted on December 6, 2021 at 6:36 PM by

The maritime executive

The Dutch government is providing funding for a series of projects, including one designed to speed up the use of methanol as a marine fuel. A large maritime consortium has received funding to conduct research on accelerating the use of methanol as a low-carbon fuel in the shipping industry. The program also includes the implementation of pilot projects for the use of methanol.

Methanol, which can provide significant reductions in CO2 emissions compared to traditional fuels, is considered in the international maritime sector as one of the most feasible clean fuels that will be available in the coming years for wide adoption. by industry. Research efforts continued on several fronts, including the first demonstrations of methanol-fueled engines. Maersk became the first major shipping company to embark on fuel, this year announcing orders for a methanol-powered supply vessel to operate in the Baltic, followed by orders for large container ships that will be fitted with dual-fuel engines. capable of using methanol. Maersk said there is still a lot to be developed for methanol and noted that it does not currently appear that there will be enough methanol for its new ships to run exclusively on fuel.

The Dutch research program will receive around $ 27 million from the government’s Netherlands Enterprise Agency out of a total research budget of over $ 40 million, including contributions from program partners. The consortium, which includes shipowners, shipyards, specialist marine equipment suppliers and knowledge institutes, will modernize six different types of vessels to test the viability of methanol fuel systems.

The research project aims to develop clean energy technology with a high degree of flexibility and wide applications in the shipping industry, from yacht building to offshore work vessels and high power dredges. Royal Boskalis Westminster, one of the world’s leading service providers operating in dredging, marine infrastructure and maritime services, is one of the participants, as are Fugro and Royal IHC. The Netherlands Defense Academy (NLDA) is one of the academic participants focusing on the development of adaptive solutions for the use of methanol. In the NLDA lab, they will perform tests on engines using methanol to study the impact on engine behavior and the ship’s energy system.

“This research program focusing on the use of methanol as a low-carbon fuel is another important step on the road to achieving the net zero goal,” said Peter Berdowski, CEO of Boskalis. “Alternative fuel types are the most important driver for developing a more sustainable marine industry and we continue to be at the forefront of initiatives exploring the emission reduction potential presented by methanol and other clean technologies. . “

Fugro who is also participating in the project because has committed to converting his ship on Pioneer of Fugro methanol operations in 2023. Built in 2014 by Damen Shipyards Galati, Pioneer of Fugro uses diesel-electric propulsion, the vessel is 171 feet long. The ship is currently carrying out geoscientific surveys for the development of wind farms.


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