Houlder Designs Methanol Bunkering Vessel for SPINE Maritime Project

Houlder has made progress in the SPINE maritime project with the design of a 10,000 cbm methanol bunkering vessel. This initiative aims to connect ships, control centers, port systems, and energy infrastructure for decarbonization and autonomy in the maritime industry. The vessel design includes semi-automated systems for methanol supply, optimized layout for efficiency, and digital twin technology for operational analysis and emissions reduction.
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Houlder, a design and engineering consultancy, has made significant progress in the SPINE maritime project by designing a 10,000 cbm methanol bunkering vessel. This vessel is part of an initiative to create an interface connecting ships, remote control centers, port operating systems, and national energy infrastructure to tackle challenges in maritime decarbonization and autonomy. Supported by MarRI-UK, the project consortium, led by MSE International, focuses on energy and autonomy in the maritime industry.

The methanol bunkering vessel design by Houlder includes semi-automated crane systems for supplying methanol to ships of various sizes, such as cruise and large container vessels. The design process involved navigating complex constraints to optimize the vessel’s layout for maximum efficiency and compliance with safety regulations. The vessel’s design team explored different spatial considerations related to using methanol as both cargo and fuel, incorporating an electric powertrain architecture for future upgrades to fuel cell technology.

To enhance vessel efficiency, Houlder utilized digital twin technology to analyze adjustments to ship operations, design new vessels, and find ways to save fuel and reduce GHG emissions. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) were used to consider solutions like propeller configurations and bulbous bow designs, evaluating the impact of a minimal ballast philosophy on the design. The project director at Houlder, Arun Pillai, highlighted the company’s expertise in alternative fuels and efficient vessel design, expressing excitement about further opportunities in methanol bunkering and alternative fuel exploration.

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