Completed the first barge-to-ship methanol bunkering in the US Gulf in Port Houston Ship’s crew

Proman Stena Bulk has announced the successful completion of the first-ever ship-to-ship methanol bunkering operation on the US Gulf Coast.

Established in 2019, the joint venture is a 50/50 collaboration between tanker company Stena Bulk and methanol producer Proman. Milestone bunkering affected its tankers, Stena ProMarine And Stena wealthyfueled by methanol from a Kirby tanker barge while offloading clean petroleum products at a terminal in the Port of Houston earlier this month.

During the bunkering operation, Stena Pro Marine received 1,408 tonnes (MT) of methanol while Stena Prosperous was refueled with 1,203 tonnes.

“The completion of the first ship-to-ship methanol bunkering operation on the US Gulf Coast is a tremendous achievement for the Proman Stena Bulk joint venture,” said Anita Gajadhar, Proman’s Executive Director of Marketing, Logistics and Shipping. “The Port of Houston is a major global cargo hub with significant latent methanol storage capacity. These qualities made it a natural proving ground for our first US ship-to-ship bunker.”

delivered in 2022, Stena ProMarine And Stena wealthy are two of the six vessels in Proman Stena Bulk’s IMOIIMeMax series powered by methanol. Conventional methanol from natural gas, which is widely available, virtually eliminates SOx and particulates, reduces NOx by 60% and reduces CO2 emissions from ship operations by up to 15% on a tank-to-wake basis compared to conventional marine fuels .

This groundbreaking bunkering operation aligns with ongoing efforts by US ports and shipping companies to increase sustainability in the industry. As part of its strategy to become carbon neutral within the next 30 years, the Port of Houston is focusing on the use of alternative fuels and clean energy sources. Bunkering also supports the US commitment to reduce methane emissions by 2030 under the Global Methane Pledge announced at the 2021 COP26 climate summit.

Kirby Corporation, the largest provider of tankers in the US, has partnered with Proman Stena Bulk to conduct the operation.

Kirby Marine Group President Christian O’Neil expressed the company’s enthusiasm for providing services to the project, citing its extensive experience of methanol in cargo, conventional bunkering and ship-to-ship lightening of various products. “We are committed to remaining at the forefront of energy transportation, regardless of the form of energy. We look forward to doing this again and again in Houston and beyond,” he said.

Proman is also investing in its own low-carbon and green methanol production capabilities, including the development of a new 100,000 metric ton per year methanol plant in North America. The plant, which is scheduled to go into operation in 2025, will produce biomethanol from non-recyclable forest residues and municipal waste and thus make a significant contribution to the circular economy.

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