Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2024

105 The International Maritime Organization has set targets for the international shipping industry to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 per cent by 2030 and 70 per cent by 2040 (compared to a 2008 baseline) to achieve net zero by around 2050. Ship operators have identified green methanol derived from lowcarbon sources as likely to be one of the primary sources of fuel for vessels that can run almost emission free, as a pathway towards decarbonisation. Maritime consultancy firm Clarksons, for example, estimates there could be 1,200 methanol-powered ships by 2030. Cruise operators are also committing to methanol, with MSC Group, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean Group all joining maritime lobbying group, The Methanol Institute. To make methanol an appealing and commercially viable fuel, it must be readily available, predictable and relatively easy to handle. Two of the biggest challenges to widespread adoption will be scaling up the bunkering supply chain and the fact it takes 2.4 times more methanol to generate the same energy as conventional heavy fuel oil. This causes an onboard storage issue because low flashpoint fuels like methanol must be kept in tanks with cofferdams where the minimum clear opening is 600 millimetres to prevent fires and leaks. Engineering firm SRC Group’s Methanol Superstorage solution overcomes this challenge by instead using a 25-millimetre-thick steelpolymer-steel ‘sandwich panel system’ to form the tank walls. The solution increases fuel storage volume by 85 per cent and can be installed with minimal impact on the vessel’s general arrangement, making it suitable for newbuilds and retrofit projects. Since Methanol Superstorage secured approval in principle from Lloyd’s Register in 2023, several cruise companies have invited SRC to join feasibility discussions for using methanol on their ships. “Projects that have been progressing are now under review to accommodate consideration of Methanol Superstorage, while one project that had stalled is being revived,” says Hannes Lilp, CEO of SRC. “Major engine makers have also approached us, while shipbuilders in Europe and Asia have been in touch with detailed enquiries.” REPORT Moving to methanol SRC Group’s Methanol Superstorage solution could help cruise operators overcome the space inefficiency challenges preventing them from switching to the greener marine fuel “ Projects that have been progressing are now under review to accommodate consideration of Methanol Superstorage” A comparison of conventional fuel storage tanks and SRC Group’s solution Source: SRC Group Traditional storage SRC Methanol Superstorage