Maersk joins collaboration on access to green methanol in Melbourne

A list of shipping and energy companies want to investigate the option of storing green methanol in Melbourne so the Australian port can meet growing demand for the fuel. 
The Port of Melbourne could become central for refueling with the fuel green methanol. | Photo: William West/AFP/Ritzau Scanpix
The Port of Melbourne could become central for refueling with the fuel green methanol. | Photo: William West/AFP/Ritzau Scanpix

An increasing number of newbuilds can be fueled with green fuels. Thus, a new collaboration will work towards making it possible to fill tanks with green methanol in the port city of Melbourne, Australia. 

The partnership includes the Port of Melbourne, Danish carrier Maersk, Maersk’s towboat carrier Svitzer, CMA CGM’s subsidiary ANL, Stolthaven Terminals, HAMR Energy, and Abel Energy.

Together, they will investigate the option of transporting green methanol from Bell Bay, Tasmania, and from Portland in the state of Victoria. The fuel is produced both places but needs transport in order to be stored in Melbourne.

According to chief executive officer of the Port of Melbourne Saul Cannon, it makes sense that exactly Melbourne becomes a bunker central for green fuels.

“Decarbonization of the maritime industry is really gaining pace. As Australia’s largest container port with around 3,000 ships visiting annually, it makes sense that we look at ways to work together with customers, service providers and producers to understand the needs of the market,” Cannon says in a press release.

Greener ships coming from shipyards

Maersk currently has orders for 19 vessels with green methanol compatibility. According to Maersk’s head of Oceania, Theresa Blank, it seems obvious that Australia should become a leading nation in relation to offering fuels for the growing number of green ships.

“Maersk has already ordered container vessels that will be operated on green methanol, which is a proven solution for reducing the shipping industry’s carbon emissions and mitigating its impact on the environment. As an island nation with high dependency on ocean transport, it’s vital that Australia takes a leadership role to enable the fuel transformation from fossil to green fuel,” Blank states in the release.

Recent data from shipping organization Bimco show that 57 percent of teu capacity in the carriers’ order books for newbuilds has some degree of compatibility with green fuels like LNG or methanol. Today, approximately 10 percent of the existing fleet sails on green fuels.

English edit: Christian Radich Hoffman

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