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Green methanol marine fuel supply developments in the US

Photo: Proman Corp Kirby_Houston-bunkering1_source_Proman_Corp[23].jpg
Methanol is fast becoming the alternative fuel of choice, while the supply of green fuel is still in its infancy in the US a new agreement between Carbon Sink and Rose Cay is set to enhance availability.

In the aftermath of the MEPC 80 meetings at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), discussions have turned to practicalities of where alternative fuels will come from, and how will they be distributed. These conversations come at a time that methanol fueling has been making major strides as a possible fuel source for ocean going vessels, with a spate of multi-ship orders by some of the major container carriers.

In the States, barging behemoth Kirby Corporation was involved in several successful methanol bunkerings, earlier this year in April, where tankers owned by a joint venture of Stena and methanol producer Proman, calling at terminals in Houston.

A newly announced linkup is set to greatly enhance the availability of methanol for vessels calling at US ports, with Carbon Sink LLC, a green methanol manufacturer, signing a Memorandum of Understanding with and Rose Cay Maritime, LLC, a Jones Act-compliant shipping company with a mission of being at the forefront of the energy transition. Rose Cay is well known as one of the buyers of the tug / barge fleet of Bouchard Transportation (following its bankruptcy in 2021).

Carbon Sink’s moves into the maritime segment include a deal signed in late 2022 with Maersk. As announced at that time, the carrier will be taking 100,000 tons per year of green methanol in the US commencing in 2027. The initial output will be originating from waste CO2 captured from the a  bio-ethanol plant located in South Dakota. Maersk has similar arrangements with providers in other geographies as well.

The CEO of Carbon Sink, Steve Meyer said, in a press release, “Rose Cay Maritime is the ideal partner to help Carbon Sink deliver our carbon-neutral fuels to our customers. Their industry knowledge and leadership in advancing the maritime energy transition will enable us to better serve the market as we expand our production capacity.”

At Rose Cay Maritime, its CEO, Alex Parker, said: “Carbon Sink is a leader in the creation of state-of-the-art green methanol plants that will help drive a material shift in the shipping industry's decarbonization initiatives that aligns with Rose Cay’s sustainability goals.” In the release, he added that, “Together, we look forward to providing much-needed green methanol production and supply chain solutions to meet growing demand from the ambitious decarbonisation goals of the maritime industry.”