Just 10 sites worldwide have methanol bunkering facilities

For all the clamour surrounding methanol as shipping’s future fuel, there remains very limited sites worldwide with available bunkering for the in vogue fuel.

New research issued this week from Clarksons Research shows there are just 10 sites worldwide offering methanol bunkering, with another 11 under development. By contrast, for LNG, the other leading alternative fuel today, there are 188 sites offering the gas as a ship fuel today with another 82 under development.

Last year was a banner year for shipping adopting methanol, with the orderbook for dual-fuelled methanol powered ships now hitting 200 ships, according to data from Clarksons’ latest Green Technology Tracker, accounting for 8.3% of the global orderbook in gt terms.

“2023 was a hugely significant year in the shipping industries decarbonisation pathway, with new regulation entering into force and a net zero commitment agreed at IMO. And while we remain only at the start of a vital and unprecedented fleet renewal investment program, a start has been made with 49% of current orderbook tonnage now alternative fuelled,” commented Steve Gordon, global head of Clarksons Research.

Across 2023, Clarksons recorded 539 newbuild orders involving alternative fuel capable vessels, 45% of all orders placed by tonnage.

Other important data from the report show the increasingly tiered nature of the global merchant fleet.

The average age of the world fleet is increasing, standing at 12.6 years on a gt weighted basis, up from a low of 9.7 years in 2013.

Clarksons estimates that under the one-year-old Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII), around 45% of today’s tanker, bulk carrier and container fleets will be D or E rated if they are still trading in 2026 and have not modified speed or specification.

Yangzijiang Shipbuilding

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