Meeting the 2020 sulphur cap - ISO to develop standard for methanol as marine fuel

An ISO standard is to be developed for methanol as a marine fuel as owners look to a variety of alrenatives to meet the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) 2020 0.5% sulphur cap.

The Methanol Institute (MI) said it welcome a move by the IMO to invite the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to develop a standard for methyl/ethyl alcohol as a marine fuel and a standard for methyl/ethyl alcohol fuel couplings. By burning methonal as a fuel shipowners meet the 2020 sulphur cap, and potentially future CO2 emission regulations.

“The global chemicals industry currently relies on the IMPCA specification for producers and consumers but a dedicated ISO standard will help shipowners understand the fuel in a marine fuel context,” said MI coo Chris Chatterton. “We are seeing increasing interest around methanol as a liquid fuel that is safe to handle easy to ship and store and is more widely available than other low sulphur alternatives.”

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There are currently eight methanol powered vessels in operation - the ropax Stena Germanica and seven tankers operated by Waterfront Shipping with at least four more expected to enter into service in 2019. 

ISO is expected to develop the standard as soon as possible.

Posted 12 July 2018

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Marcus Hand

Editor, Seatrade Maritime News

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