The 49,000 dwt vessels will be delivered in 2019 and will be powered by MAN B&W ME-LGI two-stroke dual-fuel engines that can run on methanol, fuel oil, marine diesel oil or gas oil.
They will be chartered by Waterfront Shipping (WFS), a subsidiary of Vancouver, Canada, headquartered Methanex, the world's largest producer and supplier of methanol, joining the existing seven methanol-fueled ME-LGI powered vessels chartered by WFS and delivered in 2016.
Two of the vessels will be owned in a joint venture between WFS and private shipping and investment group Marinvest, one will be owned by Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) and the fourth will be owned in a joint venture between IINO Kaiun Kaisha, Ltd. (IINO) and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui),
"We are very happy to be working with Waterfront Shipping again on this innovative technology," says René Sejer Laursen, Promotion Manager, MAN Diesel & Turbo. "With seven engines already in operation and proven in the field, this new order confirms the ME-LGI concept as a mature technology. Since this dual-fuel engine entered the market in 2016, its price has dropped considerably, which makes it an even more attractive propulsion option. Allied with its environmental credentials and convenience of use when employing methanol as a fuel, we are confident the ME-LGI will continue its promising progress."
"It's been great working with MAN and our shipping partners who are as committed as we are in advancing sustainable clean marine technology. Our seven methanol-fueled vessels have been operating safely and reliably since 2016, and we expect these new vessels to benefit from ongoing technological advances that will continue to optimize performance and efficiency," says Paul Hexter, President, Waterfront Shipping. "We are proud to see 40 per cent of our fleet powered by methanol-fuel technology in the coming year."
As a safe, biodegradable and clean-burning fuel, methanol is a promising alternative marine fuel that can meet new and existing IMO emissions regulations.
"We have been very pleased by the performance of the vessels delivered in 2016 and are excited to be investing in another two," says Marivest Chairman Patrik Mossberg. "Our overall focus in the development of the dual-fuel system concept has been safety and engine reliability. We have found the technology for handling methanol is well developed and offers a safe dual-fuel solution for low-flashpoint liquid fuels"
"For over 130 years, we have been guided by our commitment to pioneering innovation. Investing in this proven groundbreaking and innovative marine technology exemplifies our commitment to using leading clean technology to meet the safe and dependable transportation needs of our global customers," says Koji Kondo, Corporate Officer, NYK.
"With the growing demand for cleaner marine fuels to meet more stringent emission regulations, we're seeking ways to reduce our environmental footprint," says Ryuichi Osonoe, Director and Managing Executive Officer IINO. "Investing in the next generation of fuels is one way we'll continue to meet regulations while maintaining the efficiency of our operations."
"We are proud to be partnering with WFS to advance methanol as a sustainable marine fuel and be part of an innovative solution that meets the needs of the shipping industry and contributes to a more sustainable future", says Takeshi Setozaki, Chief Operating Officer, Mitsui.