Hafnia to develop methanol-fuelled tankers as part of plant investment

The tanker company has invested $10 million in a methanol export plant at the Port of Kalama, Washington, and will provide and operate purpose-built next-generation methanol dual-fuelled ships to transport one-third of the methanol volume produced by the plant.

The vessels will be tied to 19-year charters which Hafnia says will provide a ‘satisfactory guaranteed return’ during the period.

The investment in Northwest Innovation Works, Kalama, LLC (NWIW) is part of a joint venture with an unnamed partner.

Hafnia CEO Mikael Skov said: ‘This initiative is another example of our strategy to support and promote industry decarbonisation while still transporting the resources necessary to sustain the world. We recognise the world is changing, and that the ways we operate and conduct business need to change with it.

Skov continued: ‘While there is much uncertainty as to exactly what the future will look like, we’re confident that the steps we’re taking have Hafnia, our stakeholders and the industry moving in the right direction.’

NWIW will use the Hafnia JV investment towards the development of a 3.6 million tonnes per annum methanol production and export facility at the Port of Kalama in southwest Washington, USA. The plant will convert regionally sourced natural gas to methanol, which will then be transported via ship – the equivalent of an MR cargo every four days – for use in dedicated materials pathway production in Asia.

The methanol from the facility, which is expected to displace more carbon-intensive methanol supply such as coal-based methanol, will be used to produce materials such as olefins. In addition, NWIW will offset 100% of its GHG emissions from both direct and indirect sources within Washington State.

The plant, which will use ultra-low-emissions and zero liquid discharge technologies, is expected to contribute ‘substantial economic benefits’ to the local economy, said Hafnia.

According to the tanker company, the total project investment of well over $2 billion will result in over 1,000 new construction jobs and up to 200 permanent direct family-wage jobs, as well as providing $30 to $40 million in annual tax payments paid to state and local governments during operations.

Rhys Berry

Rhys Berry