South Korea’s first methanol tanker named

South Korean shipowner KSS Line held a christening ceremony for its methanol-powered MR tanker built at fellow country’s Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD).

The 50,000 DWT ship, dubbed the first South Korean vessel to run on methanol, was named Savonetta Sun in a ceremony held on October 14.

Source: KSS Line

The vessel will be chartered to Waterfront Shipping, the shipping unit of Canadian methanol producer Methanex. KSS Line has signed a charter contract with the company for a period of 15 years.

The vessel features eco-friendly features, including a dual fuel engine which can use both methanol and heavy/light oil as fuel. Additionally, the vessel is equipped with a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system, which is used to reduce nitrogen oxides. With these features in mind, KSS Line hopes to target new emissions regulations from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and halve its greenhouse gas emissions.

As a carbon-neutral solution, readily available today, methanol is gaining popularity in the marine sector, especially as other alternatives such as ammonia still have a long way to go before they become more mainstream. .

The main advantages of methanol are its density, which does not affect the carrying capacity of ships, the fact that it is relatively safe for bunkering and it has an attractive price. One thinks that methanol can reduce sulfur oxides by 99%, nitrogen oxides by 80% and carbon emissions by 25% compared to conventional fuel.

The order of around 40 methanol-powered vessels in the last 12 months, compared to a handful the year before, shows quite a dramatic change in this space,

Meanwhile, KSS Line is not content with introducing new environmentally friendly vessels to its fleet. The company expects two new vessels capable of running on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to arrive in the first quarter of 2023. The units are being built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).

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