Methanol-powered vessel berths in Rotterdam

In what is likely to be an increasingly frequent sight as the marine market moves to use more sustainable fuel, the port of Rotterdam has for the first time refuelled a methanol-powered container ship, according to methanol producer OCI Global.

The Maersk-owned ship began its 21,500 km journey to Copenhagen from South Korea’s Hyundai Mipo Dockyard on 10 July.

It has also refuelled in Singapore, another major shipping hub before its stop-over on Tuesday in Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port and ship-refuelling hub, as the entire voyage is powered by green methanol.

A low carbon fuel, green methanol is produced from renewable feedstocks, including hydrogen and biomethane and the shipping industry hopes it will help it to achieve a goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

Maersk, one of the world’s largest shipping companies, will name its new vessel when it reaches Copenhagen in September.

It has ordered another 24 of the vessels that can run on conventional fuel oil as well as methanol.

In all, consultancy DNV expects 30 of the new ships will be launched this year and the number will exceed 200 by 2028.