Six companies form a strategic alliance to develop Japan’s first methanol-powered inland tanker

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Mitsui OSK Lines, Ltd., MOL Coastal Shipping, Ltd., Tabuchi Kaiun Co., Ltd., Niihama Kaiun Co., Ltd., Murakami Hide Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. and The Hanshin Diesel Works, Ltd. have agreed to form a strategic alliance to reduce environmental impact through the development of a methanol fueled domestic tanker.

The ship development project, which aims to deliver the ship in 2024, was also selected to receive public funding through Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). , “Subsidy for “Project to Improve Transportation Efficiency by Utilizing AI/IoT (Inland Vessel Innovative Operational Efficiency Demonstration Project)”.

Methanol can reduce emissions of Sulfur Oxide (SOx) by up to 99%, Particulate Matter (PM) by up to 95%, Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) by up to 80% and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) by up to 15%. compared to ships using conventional fuel oil, which is currently the main fuel for seagoing vessels. Methanol has excellent properties as a fuel because it is a liquid at normal temperatures and atmospheric pressure. Methanol fuel has been widely adopted as an environmentally friendly fuel on seagoing vessels, including four vessels operated by MOL Group, but this will be the first inland vessel to run on methanol.

In addition, methanol can be produced using CO2 and hydrogen as raw materials, so it can be produced in the future by using the CO2 capture and transport business to synthesize hydrogen, which uses electricity from renewable resources such as offshore wind power and wave energy. If this methanol can be used as a fuel, it can establish a circular economy type business model that allows for a reduction in net CO2 emissions.

The six alliance partners will each orchestrate their advantages in technology, expertise and networks to achieve a decarbonized society.

The funding subsidizes the costs for the implementation of the demonstration project with the aim of optimizing the overall traffic through software-based measures such as ship operation planning and handling optimization as well as hardware-based measures such as energy-saving ship design, highly efficient propulsion systems and systems and equipment to improve cargo handling.

Sea News, March 14

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