Proman Stena Bulk JV orders 3rd methanol-powered tanker

Switzerland-based Proman Stena Bulk Ltd has finalized an agreement to build an additional vessel under its joint venture partnership.

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As informed, the methanol-powered Stena Prosperous will join the Stena ProPatria and the Stena ProMare in the Proman Stena fleet in the second half of 2022.

In autumn 2019, Swiss ship manager Proman Shipping and Swedish tanker shipping company Stena Bulk created the joint venture to co-own the two new vessels and promote methanol as marine fuel.

The first two ships were ordered a year ago from China’s Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI).

As its sister vessels, the third unit will also be constructed in China, Erik Hånell, President & CEO of Stena Bulk, confirmed to Offshore Energy. According to the JV, each vessel will use 12,500 tonnes per annum of methanol as a marine fuel, significantly reducing emissions in their normal commercial operations compared to conventional marine fuels.

These new methanol-ready 49,900 dwt vessels will benefit from several design and technical improvements to optimise energy and fuel efficiency.

The latest generation MAN dual-fuel engines will feature new water and fuel emulsion technology, which significantly reduces NOx emissions without the need for costly catalytic conversion technology. The vessels will also be equipped with the latest energy efficiency technology,

including continually controlled combustion, optimised tuning, redesigned and aerodynamic hull lines, and an energy shaft generator, reducing fuel consumption and helping to meet strict emissions criteria. For Proman Shipping, these new vessels demonstrate a long-term commitment to methanol as a marine fuel for the future.

Ahead of the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) updated strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the global shipping industry, due to be adopted in 2023, these vessels are expected to set a new benchmark for mid-range (MR) tanker sustainability.

The Stena Prosperous will initially be deployed by Stena Bulk within the company’s traded pool of ships for a period of two to three years.

The vessel will therefore be the first methanol dual-fuel powered ship traded on the chemicals / CPP market by a conventional shipowner without an active contract to a methanol producer. After this initial period, the Stena Prosperous will then enter into a long-term time charter with Proman Shipping.

This is said to underline the JV partners’ confidence in methanol as one of the most viable and low-emission future marine fuels and their belief in the dual-fuel technology, as well as making methanol more readily available as a marine fuel for third party shipping companies.

Methanol is already available at over 100 ports worldwide, including all major bunkering hubs. It is a clean-burning, safe-to-carry and fully biodegradable fuel, which provides a reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2)emissions, eliminates sulphur oxide (SOx) and particular matter completely, and cuts nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 60% compared to traditional marine fuels.

“In Stena Bulk we are very satisfied with the development of our joint venture with Proman Shipping, adding one more vessel into our joint venture… It is in Stena Bulk´s objectives to contribute to making the shipping industry more sustainable,” Hånell commented.

“This is an opportunity to build on the already excellent work we have achieved with Stena in our joint venture, which is now a three-vessel programme for the industry-leading IMOIIMeMAX dual-fuel vessels.

These new vessels demonstrate our commitment to leading the transition towards methanol as a reliable marine fuel and are an exciting development for us as vessel owners,” David Cassidy, Chief Executive of Proman, said.

“In making Stena Prosperous available to the general market for the transportation of chemicals, we seek to encourage other producers to gain experience with these innovative methanol-powered vessels and to benefit from the significant reduction in emissions that operating these vessels will deliver.” In autumn 2019, Proman Shipping and Stena Bulk created the joint venture to co-own the two new vessels and promote methanol as marine fuel.

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