Stena Line has confirmed it will be converting one of its vessels to run off methanol.
The Stena Germanica conversion will cost €22m (US$27.6m) and will begin in January 2015. The conversion is in response to the sulphur emission regulations that come into force at the end of this year. All vessels operating in an emission control area will be forced to use fuels, such as methanol and LNG, which have less than 0.1% sulphur content or use abatement technology to remove the sulphur in the ships’ exhaust to an equivalent level.
Stena had been undergoing trials of methanol in the auxiliary engine ahead of this announcement to push ahead with a full conversion. Methanex Corporation will supply the methanol and the conversion will take place in Poland. Wärtsilä, the Finnish engineering group and engine maker, is also involved in the project, which will result in the vessel being dual-fuelled so as to still have the option of using marine gas oil if needed.
Stena Line chief executive Carl-Johan Hagman said in a statement that Stena will look at converting other vessels to run off methanol if this pilot conversion works well. The company is also looking at other options for its vessels such as LNG, scrubbers and electric propulsion.
According to Interferry, some owners such as DFDS and Finnlines have already said they will mostly use exhaust gas scrubbers to meet the sulphur challenge, while others have begun ordering dual-fuelled vessels capable of running off liquefied natural gas.
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