Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. has placed an order with Minaminippon Shipbuilding Co., Ltd for up to three methanol carriers featuring the world’s first methanol burned dual-fueled low-speed diesel main engine.
This engine has already been completed, and its manufacturer, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., has test-operated the unit using methanol fuel in Tamano Works, and confirmed that it met expected performance.
The vessels will be delivered in 2016, and serve for Waterfront Shipping Company Limited under a long-term charter contract signed in 2013.
“By burning methanol with this diesel main engine, emissions of CO2 and NOx are significantly less when burning methanol rather than fuel oil. Thus, methanol is an important fuel that does not include SOx and can replace fuel oil and thereby place fewer burdens on the environment,” MOL explained.
MOL said that besides using methanol to drive the main engine, the new vessels will be one of the first to install the ballast water treatment system and energy saving devices fitted in front and behind the propellers to help improve fuel efficiency.
Study to evaluate the safety of this dual-fuel engine and methanol supply system was supported by the next-generation marine environment-related technology development support program of the Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. It was also chosen as a joint research theme by the Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK).