Methanol boxship orders growing more rapidly than all other fuel types

The container segment is leading shipping to green new pastures, taking a massive lead when it comes to investing in methanol propulsion.

According to Alphaliner, methanol boxship orders have grown more rapidly than LNG in the last six months, while carriers have all but ditched orders for conventional fuel oil tonnage with just 8% of orders by capacity so far this year going for the old fashioned bunker fuel (see chart below).

LNG and methanol dual-fuel tonnage now represent 40% of the container orderbook. It is the speed with which methanol has been embraced which has caught the eye.

The methanol-fuelled boxship orderbook now stands at 68 ships of 0.93m teu. The segment now represents 12% of the orderbook by capacity, versus less than 1% a year ago.

“The figures show the green revolution in container shipping is now firmly underway with carriers using huge cash deposits to remake their fleets for the energy transition,” Alphaliner stated in its latest weekly report.

Ships designated LNG-, methanol– or ammonia-ready are not included in Alphaliner’s definition of green ships.

While containerlines have led the way towards methanol propulsion, dry bulk and tanker orders are also now in the mix. Another important shipping sector, the cruise business, is also keen to embrace methanol. Costa, TUI Cruises, Disney, and Norwegian have declared their interest in moving toward methanol as a fuel for their cruise ships.

MAN Energy Solutions, one of the key engine suppliers for this type of propulsion, said earlier this month that the interest in methanol as a fuel has surged and represents more than 30% of all its current, open pipeline projects across a broad range of vessel segments.

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