FASTWATER consortium backs methanol as a ‘future proof marine fuel’

The FASTWATER consortium of European maritime research and technology players will be using funding from European Commission to demonstrate the feasibility of using methanol as a ‘future-proof marine fuel’.

In a statement posted on its website yesterday (23 June), the Port of Antwerp said that the consortium will look at three vessels running on methanol fuel: a harbour tug, a pilot boat, and a coast guard vessel.

The Port of Antwerp added: ‘A conversion concept for a river cruise ship using methanol-driven propulsion will also be developed and a universal, scalable retrofit kit for converting diesel fuelled ships to methanol use for a wide power range (200 kW-4 MW) will be validated.

‘In addition, FASTWATER will provide training programs for vessel crew and portside staff, develop rules and regulations for methanol marine fuel use, demonstrate the complete value chain for bunkering methanol – including net carbon neutral renewable methanol – elaborate a business plan, and identify CO2 and conventional pollutant reductions facilitated by the next generation methanol propulsion systems.’

FASTWATER project manager Prof. Sebastian Verhelst of Lund University and Gent University commented: ‘The FASTWATER consortium members bring a strong track record with methanol projects to this effort, which will address current bottlenecks that are hindering the use of methanol as a fuel for waterborne transport. ‘FASTWATER will put more methanol fuelled vessels on the water and showcase retrofit technologies that will serve as lighthouse projects supporting wider commercial introduction.

Lesley Bankes-Hughes

Lesley Bankes-Hughes