Japan’s First Methanol-Fueled Coastal Tanker Launched by MOL

Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL) and MOL Coastal Shipping have introduced Japan's first methanol-fueled coastal tanker, the Daiichi Meta Maru. Launched on July 3, 2024, this 65.5-meter vessel marks a milestone in Japan's maritime industry. Designed for transporting methanol to Mitsubishi Corporation, it boasts advanced energy-saving technology. With a focus on reducing emissions, this innovative tanker sets a new standard for eco-friendly shipping.
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Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL), in collaboration with its group company MOL Coastal Shipping, has unveiled Japan’s first methanol-fueled coastal tanker, named the Daiichi Meta Maru. The vessel, measuring 65.5 meters in length, was launched at Kanasashi Heavy Industries of the Murakami Hide Shipbuilding Group on July 3, 2024, marking a significant milestone in Japan’s maritime industry. The Daiichi Meta Maru, jointly owned by MOL Coastal Shipping, Niihama Kaiun Kabushiki Kaisha, and Tabuchi Kaiun, is designed to transport methanol to Mitsubishi Corporation and is equipped with advanced energy-saving technology and operational support systems.

This innovative coastal tanker is the first of its kind in Japan to run on environmentally friendly methanol fuel, promising significant reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and sulfur oxides (SOx) emissions compared to traditional heavy fuel oil. Methanol fuel has the potential to reduce SOx emissions by up to 99%, particulate matter (PM) emissions by up to 95%, NOx emissions by up to 80%, and CO2 emissions by up to 15%. The project, a result of strategic cooperation between six Japanese corporations, has received support from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT).

The MOL Group remains committed to minimizing the environmental impact of marine transport and will continue to work with joint shipowners to achieve this goal. Methanol, already used in oceangoing vessels, including those operated by the MOL Group, is expected to see significant growth in the coming years. The adoption of methanol derived from non-fossil energy sources such as bio-methanol and e-methanol could further enhance its environmental benefits.

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