The refuelling operation marked the second green methanol bunkering for Maersk’s first methanol dual-fuel containership, a 2,100 teu vessel built in Korea and currently sailing to Copenhagen for a naming ceremony.
The containership was bunkered with 300 tonnes of bio-methanol from OCI Global from a chemical tanker Agility operated by Singapore bunkering and tanker company Hong Lam Marine.
The Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) went to considerable lengths to ensure the safety of the bunkering operation as it develops a technical reference for methanol bunkering, as well as operational and safety protocols, training and licensing requirements.
Preparing for the methanol bunkering the MPA worked with over 28 agencies, partners and institutes carrying out table top exercises, a ground deployment exercise and Hazard Identification (HAZID) and Hazard and Operability Study (HAZOP) workshops.
A particular concern with methanol is that if it catches fire the flames are not visible to the human eye.
Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive of MPA, said “The success of the methanol bunkering operation is a result of nearly a year’s preparations with various government agencies, research institutes, international collaborators, and industry to develop rigorous safety procedures through in-depth operational and risk assessments, modelling, and validation.
“This operation will help inform the development of the various standards, including the Technical Reference for methanol bunkering operations in Singapore, and guide our approach for future pilots and trials of new marine fuels.”
Lim Teck Cheng, Executive Chairman, Hong Lam Marine, commented: “This remarkable achievement marks a milestone and demonstrates our commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility, and we believe this will be a significant step in accelerating the development of methanol bunkering in Singapore.”
Singapore is the world’s largest bunkering port and expects to see two or three more methanol bunker operations this year.