Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS), a world leading shipowner with 168 vessels in its fleet, has weighed in on the future fuels debate, showing a preference for ammonia and methanol.
The Idan Ofer-controlled company announced today it has signed with Dutch fuel provider OCI and engine manufacturing giant MAN Energy Solutions a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop methanol and ammonia as marine fuels to aide in industry-wide decarbonization and environmental preservation efforts. The trio aims to retrofit conventional vessels from EPS’s tanker fleet and construct methanol engines and ammonia engine new builds.
The partnership involves using select conventional vessels from EPS’s existing tanker fleet that use MAN engines to be retrofitted, allowing them to be powered by methanol and ammonia which will be supplied by OCI. Also, EPS will construct new vessels with MAN engines powered by the same two alternative marine fuels. OCI intends to charter the first retrofitted vessel from EPS.
The announcement is in line with EPS’s «agnostic» approach to its alternative marine fuel programme.
EPS CEO Cyril Ducau said, “EPS is proud to partner with industry-leaders OCI and MAN with a shared vision to push our industry towards decarbonization and environmental preservation. As a leading tonnage provider, EPS has taken a firm stance that sustainability begins with accountability. This means we have a responsibility to implement emission lowering solutions available today while simultaneously developing solutions for tomorrow.
Converting our existing conventional fleet to burn methanol creates a unique opportunity to continue lowering our carbon footprint significantly and rapidly. In the meantime, developing ammonia-fuelled conversion and newbuilding projects will help develop more mature zero-carbon solutions in the longer term. We are excited about the next steps and to share our findings with the industry.”
The partnership is an example of different industry players with aligned values coming together to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The MOU is also an example of not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, as the technology to retrofit vessels to run on methanol exists today while using methanol and ammonia on newbuilds is still a few years away.
Ahmed El-Hoshy, Chief Executive Officer of OCI NV, commented: “Methanol and ammonia are the fuels of the future and we are excited to continue to play a part in the transition to zero carbon through this partnership. The use of ammonia or methanol as a shipping fuel is particularly promising as these products are among the best-placed alternatives to help this sector decarbonize in a cost-effective way.» Brian Østergaard Sørensen, Vice President and Head of R&D, Two-Stroke Business at MAN Energy Solutions, said: “We view these initiatives as closely aligned with our own strategy of cooperating with external partners to develop sustainable technologies. Methanol and ammonia are very interesting candidates as zero-carbon fuels. In fact, we have already introduced a methanol-burning two-stroke engine, while we expect to deliver the first ammonia-fuelled engine in 2024. MAN Energy Solutions is fully committed to the maritime energy transition and the development of technology that exploits alternative, clean fuels.”
Brian Østergaard Sørensen, head of R&D, two-stroke business at MAN Energy Solutions, commented: “We view these initiatives as closely aligned with our own strategy of cooperating with external partners to develop sustainable technologies. Methanol and ammonia are very interesting candidates as zero-carbon fuels.”
MAN has already introduced a methanol- burning two-stroke engine, while it expects to deliver its first ammonia-fuelled engine in 2024. Source: EPS