Methanol-powered Ane Maersk completes first bunkering in European waters

Methanol-powered Ane Maersk completes first bunkering in European waters

During its inaugural visit to the Port of Antwerp in Belgium, methanol-powered containership Ane Maersk completed its first bunker operation in European waters.

Courtesy of Port of Antwerp-Bruges

On April 1, 2024, the world’s first large methanol-powered deep-sea vessel docked at the MSC PSA European Terminal (MPET). ​

The 16,592 TEU boxship bunkered 4,300 tons of green methanol and 1,375 tons of biodiesel (B100) during the port stay. For the port, it was the first methanol bunkering involving an ocean-going vessel.

As informed, TankMatch dispatched two barges to transfer 4,300 tons of green methanol onto the Ane Maersk. Subsequently, a barge from VT Group delivered 1,375 tons of biodiesel (B100). The bunkering process was integrated into the vessel’s port stay, combining bunkering simultaneously with onloading and offloading of cargo. The so-called ‘simultaneous operations (SIMOPS) increased the efficiency of the port stay by lowering additional time allocation for refueling.

The Antwerp call is part of Ane Maersk’s maiden voyage from South Korea to China, fueled by green methanol. Last week, the ship visited the Port of Hamburg in Germany.

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Built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea, Ane Maersk is equipped with a dual-fuel engine enabling operations on methanol as well as biodiesel and conventional bunker fuel.

The ultra large container vessel (ULCV) is the first of Maersk’s 18 large methanol-enabled ships that will be delivered between 2024 and 2025 and the world’s second methanol-enabled container vessel, following the launch of Laura Maersk in 2023.

On April 4, 2024, Maersk welcomed Astrid Maersk, the second methanol-enabled large vessel to join its fleet. The naming ceremony was held in Yokohama, Japan.

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The successful bunkering operation was deemed a new milestone in the Port of Antwerp-Bruges’ ambition to become a multifuel port where different climate-neutral fuels such as hydrogen, ammonia, methane and methanol are available for bunkering, in addition to the range of bio- and conventional bunker fuels already available.

In June 2023, the very first methanol bunkering operation took place at Port of Antwerp-Bruges, when 475 mT of methanol were bunkered onto the tanker Stena Pro Marine.

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The port can store climate-neutral fuels for use within its industrial cluster and distribution to the hinterland. In the context of the broad energy transition, where hydrogen carriers like methanol, ammonia, and methane are set to play pivotal roles, many tank storage terminals have invested in extra capacity or are planning to do so. In the process of enabling the bunkering of climate-neutral fuels at both its platforms, Port of Antwerp-Bruges has conducted risk assessments for all types of fuel, is setting up safety protocols and will ensure the ‘highest’ qualifications within its bunkering ecosystem by implementing a licensing system for bunker operators.

“As the fifth largest bunkering port in the world, we are committed to playing a pioneering role in the integration of climate neutral fuels to the bunker market. Port of Antwerp-Bruges will provide facilities where possible, make both platforms multifuel ready and is itself committed to making its fleet greener by using alternative fuels,” Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp-Bruges, commented.

“The successful bunkering of this new generation vessel proves that we are taking the right steps to further transform our port into a multifuel port by 2025: a port where, in addition to traditional fuels, more sustainable alternative fuels such as methanol are offered. As ambitious pioneering port, port of Antwerp-Bruges aspires to be an inspiration for the entire maritime sector,” Annick De Ridder, President of the board of directors of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, said.

“We are excited to partner with Port of Antwerp-Bruges on the maiden voyage of Ane Maersk. This is an important step in our efforts to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. We value all our partners which contributes to the decarbonisation of shipping and logistics, and we are pleased to see both the green fuel and bunkering infrastructure making promising development,” Emma Mazhari, Head of Energy Markets of A.P. Moller – Maersk, pointed out.

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