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Successful delivery of methanol-fuelled tanker

Proman Stena Bulk, the joint venture between leading tanker company Stena Bulk and the leading methanol producer Proman, has successfully taken delivery of a further methanol-fuelled tanker, Stena Prosperous, the companies have announced today.

The 49,990DWT vessel was successfully delivered from Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) and will now enter commercial operation running fully on methanol.

The delivery caps a marquee year for the joint venture, which now has four vessels actively trading and bunkering fully on the low-emission future fuel. The fourth ship joins the Proman Stena Bulk-owned Stena Pro Patria and Stena Pro Marine, and the Proman-owned Stena Promise, which were all delivered in 2022.

The joint venture fleet has already loaded methanol fuel in Ulsan, Trinidad and Rotterdam in the past year, with other major bunkering hubs to follow in 2023.

A fourth vessel entering into service underlines Proman Stena Bulk’s commitment to unlocking a more sustainable maritime sector in the immediate term by driving the uptake of methanol as a marine fuel.

Stena Prosperous, like the other methanol-fuelled joint venture vessels, has an unprecedently low EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index) value while running on methanol. The IMOIIMeMax vessel series benefits from industry-leading design improvements and technologies to maximise energy efficiency and minimise fuel consumption, resulting in an EEDI 11% below the 2025 Phase 3 requirements and setting a new benchmark for mid-range tankers.

Moreover, the vessels’ future-proofed engine designs make the ships ready to achieve every incoming emissions reduction target, as greater quantities of very low-carbon blue and renewable methanol becomes available for blending and bunkering in the near future.

Stena Prosperous will use approximately 12,500 tonnes of methanol as fuel per year. Conventional methanol from natural gas, which is widely available, virtually eliminates SOx and particulate matter, cuts NOx by 60%, and reduces CO2 emissions from the vessel’s operations by up to 15% on a tank-to-wake basis, compared to conventional marine fuels.

Erik Hånell, President and CEO of Stena Bulk, says, “It’s fantastic to be able to end 2022 with a fourth methanol tanker joining our joint venture fleet. These vessels are truly pioneering and meet the highest standards of safety, sustainability and efficiency, laying down a marker for what is already possible today through progressive partnerships like ours with Proman.”

Anita Gajadhar, Managing Director, Marketing and Logistics, Proman adds, “We are immensely proud of what our joint venture with Stena Bulk has been able to achieve over the last year. We now have four vessels in operation running on methanol as a marine fuel, which proves that methanol isn’t a future fuel – it’s a today fuel. Its highly scalable and commercially viable decarbonisation pathway means it is one of best solutions for shipowners to meet sustainability commitments and every incoming emissions target that the maritime industry will face.”

The news of Stena Prosperous’s delivery comes as interest in methanol as a marine fuel reaches new heights. In October 2022, methanol ships were the leading category of newbuild ships on order, and MAN Energy Solutions estimates that around 25% of its order pipeline is for methanol engines across a range of vessel classes.