Antwerp-Bruges Port Historic First Methanol Bunkering with Ane Maersk

by Admin
Port of Antwerp Bruges Methanol Bunkering

The world’s first large methanol-powered deep-sea vessel, Ane Maersk, called at the Antwerp port at the MSC PSA European Terminal (MPET). The vessel completed its first bunker operation in European waters, Bunkering 4,300 tons of green methanol and 1,375 tons of biodiesel (B100) during the port stay. The successful and efficient biofuel bunkering, and methanol bunkering is a new milestone in the Antwerp-Bruges Port ambition to become a multifuel port.

Efficient Bunkering Operations

The call at the Antwerp port is part of Ane Maersk’s maiden voyage from South Korea to China, fueled by green methanol. The container vessel, built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea, has a nominal capacity of 16,000 containers (TEU) and is equipped with a dual-fuel engine enabling operations on methanol as well as biodiesel and conventional bunker fuel. ‘Ane Maersk’ is the first of Maersk’s 18 large methanol-enabled vessels that will be delivered between 2024 and 2025 and the world’s second methanol-enabled container vessel.

The bunkering took place at the MPET terminal and was accomplished safely during terminal operations. 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 seamlessly integrated into the vessel’s port stay, combining bunkering simultaneously with on- and off-loading of cargo. The so-called ‘simultaneous operations’ (SIMOPS) increased the efficiency of the port stay by lowering additional time allocation for refueling. This impressive milestone reflects the excellent collaboration between multiple stakeholders involved.

Towards a Multifuel Port

For the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, this is also a milestone in its ambition to become a multifuel port, where a multitude of 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 the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, when 475 mT (metric tonnes) of methanol were bunkered onto the tanker Stena Pro Marine.

The Port of Antwerp-Bruges already has the capacity to 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, the 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.”

Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp-Bruges commented: “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.”

Annick De Ridder, President of the board of directors of Port of Antwerp-Bruges: “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.”

Vincent Clerc, Chief Executive Officer of A.P. Moller-Maersk: “Deploying the first of our large methanol-enabled vessels on one of the world’s largest trade lanes, Asia – Europe, is a landmark in our journey towards our Net-Zero target. With the vessel’s capacity of 16,000 containers, this will make a significant impact in our customers’ efforts to decarbonise their supply chains, and we are looking forward to introducing more methanol-enabled vessels on this and other trades during 2024. With its ambition to become a multifuel port, Port of Antwerp-Bruges will play a crucial role in this.”

Emma Mazhari, Head of Energy Markets of A.P. Moller – Maersk: “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.”

Johan Van Daele, Chief Executive Officer, MSC PSA European Terminal (MPET): “As the largest container terminal in the port of Antwerp, we are proud of the arrival and successful bunkering of the Ane Maersk. This achievement was the result of meticulous planning and cooperation between all parties involved. During the operation, SIMOPS (simultaneous operations) went exceptionally well, with minimal impact on our regular operations. This success underlines our commitment to safety, efficiency, sustainability and innovation and shows that efficiency and sustainability can go hand in hand. A big thank you to the staff of MPET who have again ensured the efficient handling of this vessel.”

Andre Nieman, CEO of Tankmatch: “Bunkering of 4.300 tons methanol is for us a new milestone after having performed a number of small methanol bunkering operations. ​ We are proud to be a part of decarbonising shipping.”

Niels Groenewold, VT Group: “The B100 bunkering service provided to the Ane Maersk is a proud moment for VT Group. It is a clear indicator that we are on the right track to the sustainable path we have set out for ourselves. We look forward to a shared sustainable future, underpinned by bunkering alternative fuels such as B100.”

About Maersk

A.P. Moller – Maersk is an integrated logistics company working to connect and simplify its customers’ supply chains. As a global leader in logistics services, the company operates in more than 130 countries and employs around 100,000 people. Maersk is aiming to reach net zero emissions by 2040 across the entire business with new technologies, new vessels, and green fuels.

About MPET

MSC PSA European Terminal (MPET) is a joint venture between PSA and Terminal Investment Limited (TIL). With an annual throughput capacity of 9 million TEU, a quay length of 3.7 km and a surface area of 247 ha, MPET is the largest container terminal in Europe and accounts for more than 50% of Antwerp’s total container volume. MPET is equipped with 38 container cranes and has 11 berths to handle the largest ships in the world.

About TankMatch

Tankmatch organises sustainable transport of ​ biocomponents(methanol) and chemicals by rail, river and canal. We serve high end chemical and mineral customers every day. By doing so, we are a crucial logistics link in the European economy.

About VT Group

VT is an independent tanker shipping company with a global presence. Founded in 1933, VT Group offers optimal support for transport and bunkering with highly trained personnel and impeccable equipment. VT is mainly active in European waters (ARA area, all Rhine river states,  Sweden and Spain) Panama and Oman.


With an overall throughput of 271 million tonnes per year, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is a critical hub in worldwide trade and industry. ​ The ambition for Port of Antwerp-Bruges is clear – to become the world’s first port that reconciles economy, people and climate. As well as growing in a sustainable way, the Port also aims to focus on its unique position as a logistics, maritime and industrial centre and to take the lead in the transition to a circular and low-carbon economy.

Source Port of Antwerp-Bruges