Proman adds two more methanol-powered ships to fleet

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The methanol-powered Stena Prosperous one of the vessels in Proman’s fleet. The company on Wednesday announced two new vessels will be built at Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) in China.   Photo courtesy Proman

Switzerland-based company Proman has announced it will construct two new 49,900 dwt methanol dual-fuel MR tankers at Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) in China.

In a media release on Tuesday, Proman said this venture brings its total investment in methanol-powered vessels to six which includes the Provident and Progressive, alongside the Promise which was due to be delivered in the third quarter of 2022.

The two new 49,900 dwt methanol dual-fuel MR tankers are expected to be completed by the fourth quarter 2023.

“These vessels join Proman’s expanding fleet, including its three jointly owned methanol dual-fuel tankers with JV partners Stena Bulk,” it said.

While it did not mention its direct benefits to TT at this time, it noted the Prime Minister’s statements at the 2021 Energy Conference in June that the shift to methanol powered vessels represent a significant move to a cleaner energy future. Currently, all Proman’s plants in TT are up and running.

Chief executive David Cassidy said, “This is a significant and exciting investment for Proman. It reflects not only our continued growth but also our commitment to leading the way to a greener shipping future.

“Methanol has huge potential to bridge the gap from fossil to fully renewable fuels, with its clean-burning and biodegradable qualities making it particularly attractive as a marine fuel.”

Proman said its Provident and Progressive vessels will allow for trading globally for shipping chemicals and clean petroleum products, enabling shipowners worldwide to experience the benefits of 100 per cent renewable-ready methanol-powered vessels.

Proman said each vessel will use about 12,500 tonnes of methanol as a marine fuel per year and the use of “grey” methanol produced from natural gas, greenhouse gas emissions in the vessels’ commercial operations will be significantly reduced compared to conventional marine fuels.

The near elimination of sulphur and particulate matter, it said, would be a 60 per cent reduction of nitrogen oxide and 10-15 per cent cut in carbon dioxide.

It also noted that the vessels will be equipped with the latest energy efficiency technology, including continually controlled combustion, optimised tuning, redesigned and aerodynamic hull lines, and an energy shaft generator, reducing fuel consumption and helping to meet strict emissions criteria.

Managing director of marketing, logistics and shipping Anita Gajadhar said, “Proman’s investment in these vessels is testament to our belief in methanol as a “future-proof” marine fuel.

“With regulatory approval from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and growing take-up from some of the world’s largest shipping companies, methanol’s global availability, ease of handling and highly scalable sustainable pathway makes it hard to beat as the shipping sector’s pathway fuel to the future.”

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