ABS and Berge Bulk (BB) have signed a joint development project to evaluate the feasibility of converting a bulk vessel to methanol fuel propulsion. Through the project, ABS and BB will explore the possibility of retrofitting the Berge Mauna Kea – a 300m heavy fuel oil propelled bulk carrier – to run on more sustainable methanol fuel.
During the six-month study, the pair will work collaboratively on several key areas relating to methanol, such as the fuel’s availability and the practicalities of bunkering, in addition to reviewing technical and economic aspects of the conversion.
The Berge Mauna Kea bulk carrier is being built at the Nihon Shipyard in Japan, with an expected delivery date of mid-2024. By using methanol, the vessel will emit much less SOx, NOx and particulate matter.
“Retrofitting alternative fuel capability to the global fleet is going to be critical if we are to achieve our sustainability goals,” said Christopher Wiernicki, ABS chairman, president and CEO.
“This JDP is blazing a trail that many other vessels will ultimately have to travel as operators look to manage their decarbonization trajectories over a vessel’s lifespan. Methanol is increasingly being recognized as a compelling alternative pathway for owners and operators. With practical benefits related to ease of storage and handling, tank-to-wake carbon intensity reduction, as well as a pathway to carbon neutrality through green methanol, methanol presents an immediate and promising solution.”
“Berge Bulk is committed to our target of achieving net zero carbon by 2025,” added James Marshall, CEO of Berge Bulk. “We see methanol as one of the solutions towards these ongoing decarbonization efforts. Existing technologies are available to convert methanol for use in our engines, while there are also procedures for bunkering of methanol and its use on board. As a leader in this industry, we are confident that this collaboration with ABS will accelerate our efforts towards zero carbon in this energy transition journey.”