A historic moment unfolds in China’s maritime sector as the inaugural journey of Hai Gang Zhi Yuan, China first methanol bunker supply vessel, commences operations. Formerly known as Jiuli 668, this 16,000 cbm vessel underwent a transformative 113-day retrofit at Zhoushan Putuo Changhong Shipbuilding Co., emerging as a trailblazing force in the industry’s quest for cleaner and more sustainable fuel alternatives.
The meticulous conversion process, completed in September and endorsed by the China Classification Society (CCS) through Approval in Principle (AIP) in July 2023, has outfitted Hai Gang Zhi Yuan with a cutting-edge methanol fuel system. Owned by Shanghai SIPG Energy Services Co., a subsidiary of SIPG Group, the vessel is strategically designed for both methanol transportation and efficient ship-to-ship bunkering operations during container loading and unloading, optimizing operations in modern port settings.
Methanol as Marine Fuel
Methanol, as a marine fuel, has gained prominence as a viable and environmentally friendly alternative in the maritime industry. Known for its inherent compatibility with existing maritime infrastructure and the maturity of technologically advanced solutions, methanol has emerged as a strategic response to global imperatives for reduced emissions and increased sustainability. Its versatility allows for seamless integration into marine engines, and with the growing availability of methanol-powered solutions, it presents an efficient pathway for the maritime sector to meet stringent environmental standards. As witnessed in the surge of methanol-fueled vessel orders in 2023, particularly in the container shipping segment, the maritime industry is increasingly recognizing methanol as a key player in achieving cleaner and greener operations.
The triumphant launch of Hai Gang Zhi Yuan marks a monumental stride towards a more sustainable future for China’s maritime sector, harmonizing seamlessly with worldwide endeavors to minimize the environmental impact of shipping operations.