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Methanol Institute joins Chinese study of methanol as marine fuel

The Methanol Institute (MI) has joined a study led by the China Waterborne Transportation Research Institute (CWTRI) to explore the technical and operational requirements for the use of methanol as a marine fuel.

The CWTRI is the think tank of China’s Ministry of Transport, and the study is supported by Methanex, the world’s largest methanol producer and distributor, and Shanghai Huayi Energy Chemical, one of the largest methanol producers and distributors in China.

“Methanex currently operates 11 dual-fuel methanol-powered vessels globally through our wholly-owned-subsidiary Waterfront Shipping,” said Zhang Jianning, president of Methanex China.

“Our experience to date has proven methanol as a safe, reliable, cost competitive and IMO 2020 compliant marine fuel and this study will provide an opportunity to decisively strengthen the offering of methanol as a widely available, future-proofed marine fuel in China,” Zhang said.

Based on the characteristics of China’s energy and shipping industries, the study will create comprehensive guidance and policy suggestions for the use of methanol as a marine fuel, reflecting the experience already gained in large and small methanol-fuelled marine engines, and will develop a roadmap for the adoption of methanol as a marine fuel in China.

Guo Min, deputy chief engineer and manager of development department at Shanghai Huayi, said: “As IMO has confirmed in its interim guideline that methanol is a safe and compliant low flash point marine fuel, methanol can find its role in the sustainable development of China’s waterborne transportation sector.”

Chris Chatterton, coo of MI, commented: “China is the largest producer and consumer of methanol globally and it has been used safely in the country for many years, not only as a building block for the manufacturing of chemicals, but also as a clean fuel in industrial boilers, passenger vehicles and heavy duty trucks.”

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