Marubeni Corporation and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Development of the Far East and the Arctic Regions, State Development Corporation VEB.RF , VTB Bank, and ESN Limited Liability Company for a joint study to build, operate, and utilize a methanol carrier equipped with a dual-fuel engine (methanol/very-low sulfur fuel oil). The document was signed on September 3, during the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia.
According to MOL, for the marine transportation of methanol which the ESN Group plans to produce from natural gas in the Amur Region of Russia, the MoU will consider introducing an environment-friendly vessel which can reduce emissions of sulfur oxides (SOx) by up to 99%, particulate matter (PM) by up to 95%, nitrogen oxides (NOx) by up to 80% and carbon dioxide (CO2) by up to 15% compared to conventional fuel oil. This is achieved by utilizing the methanol as a bunker to move the vessel.
Because methanol is liquid at normal temperature and pressure, it has the advantage of low marine transportation costs. On land, it can also be stored in ordinary tanks for liquids as a supply base.
Marubeni and MOL will consider developing a project that would supply methanol as marine fuel should the demand of methanol as fuel for common vessels grow in the East Asian region in future, as there is a possibility that this methanol which is to be produced and exported by the ESN Group will become a competitive supply source located within the region, MOL said in a statement.
At the end of 2020, MOL and ESN Group signed a binding agreement on supply of methanol to be produced at ESN’s facility under construction in Amur Region.