DNV joins standards working group on methanol bunkering

Class society DNV has joined a working group on methanol bunkering led by the Standards Development Organization at the Singapore Chemical Industry Council (SCIC-SDO).

DNV, which has announced its participation in Singapore Maritime Week, says the multi-stakeholder working group will develop a Technical Reference (TR) for bunkering of methanol for Singapore, the world’s largest bunkering hub.

The SCIC, which was appointed as the standards development organization by Enterprise Singapore, formed the Working Group on Standard Development for Methanol Bunkering in consultation with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). The working group, which includes government agencies, bunker suppliers, bunker boat operators, engine manufacturers, testing and certification bodies, shipowners and operators, terminal operators and classification societies such as DNV, will develop a Technical Reference (TR) for methanol bunkering for Singapore.

According to DNV, the TR will cover custody transfer requirements (quantity and quality) for the supply of methanol as bunker fuel. It will examine all aspects of bunkering, from bunker tankers to receiving vessels, examining the operational and safety requirements for bunkering methanol, as well as crew training and competence.

“Initiatives like the working group set up by SCIC-SDO are crucial as the energy transition accelerates and the maritime industry moves towards a multi-fuel future,” said Cristina Saenz de Santa Maria, Regional Manager South East Asia, Pacific & India at DNV Maritime.

“For methanol and other alternative fuels to continue to gain traction in shipping, we need to build trust and encourage wider adoption. This can only be achieved through standards that increase security while providing a comprehensive and practical framework for all stakeholders. At DNV we have worked with our customers on alternative fuels to improve the sustainability of their operations for many years and are very proud to be included in the standards working group.’

DNV stressed that the announcement of the development of the TR comes with record-breaking orders for ships that can use alternative fuels. As Bunkerspot previously reported, DNV’s Alternative Fuels Insight (AFI) platform, which tracks alternative fuel orders and bunker locations, recorded orders for 35 methanol-powered vessels in 2022 — more than the 26 vessels currently in service. In addition, orders for methanol-powered vessels exceeded those for LNG in February.

“Interest in methanol is growing rapidly, gaining ground over the most widespread alternative option, LNG,” said Lukasz Luwanski, Regional Business Development Director at DNV Maritime. “Designs for methanol-fuelled vessels tend to be less complex, which means they are typically less expensive to build than a comparable LNG-fuelled vessel.

“On the other hand, due to upcoming GHG regulations, a switch to ‘green’ methanol will be required much sooner than for a ship running on LNG. This makes the Working Group’s TR a very timely and important reference point for the industry.’

As previously reported by bunker spotin preparation for the start of methanol bunkering in Singapore later this year, the International Conference and Exhibition on Chemical and Oil Pollution (ICOPCE) included a tabletop exercise today (April 26) to test the port’s safety measures in the event of a methanol spill. Conference attendees were also informed by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) that the port’s first methanol bunker pilot project has been completed with Maersk Oil Trading, Mitsui & Co. Ltd., Mitsui & Co. Energy Trading Singapore Pte. Ltd and ABS in the third quarter of this year. In addition, the MPA also announced that it will conduct a full development exercise (FDX) with government agencies and stakeholders in Q3 2023 to validate the effectiveness of emergency preparedness, procedures and controls for methanol bunkering.

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