The Korean Register (KR) has granted an approval in principle (AIP) for a dual-fuel, methanol-powered MR tanker, developed jointly by KR, South Korean shipbuilders K Shipbuilding and equipment manufacturer S&SYS. The vessel has been designed to harness the power of marine gas oil and methanol, with two methanol fuel tanks mounted on the open deck, one on the port side and the other on the starboard side. K Shipbuilding was primarily responsible for the vessel’s basic design and the methanol fuel tank design, while S&SYS developed the fuel supply system. KR ensured the safety and regulatory compliance of the design, leading to the issuance of the AIP for the methanol-fueled MR tanker.
The shipping industry is under increasing pressure to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Consequently, the adoption of alternative fuels has become imperative. The EU’s ‘Fit for 55’ initiative is targeting a minimum 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and major companies are exploring viable solutions. Methanol is increasingly seen as an attractive option due to its several advantages over other alternative fuels. It is a liquid fuel, eliminating the need for pressurization, and easier to store and transport compared to extreme temperature fuels like LNG, hydrogen, or ammonia. Methanol also has strong potential for commercialization in the maritime sector due to its technical feasibility and its lower toxicity compared to ammonia and lower technical requirements compared to LNG fuel.
The methanol-fueled MR tanker developed by KR, K Shipbuilding, and S&SYS represents a significant step towards decarbonizing the shipping industry. The AIP granted by KR is a recognition of the vessel’s compliance with safety and regulatory standards. The adoption of alternative fuels is essential to achieving the industry’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and this development is expected to inspire other companies to explore environmentally friendly solutions in the future.
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