Port of Gothenburg completes landmark methanol bunkering 


The Port of Gothenburg has completed a new milestone for the use of methanol as a marine fuel, fuelling the Stena Germanica.

This vessel was the first non-tanker vessel in the world to be bunkered with methanol ship to ship. 

“This strengthens our position as a bunker hub and is also showcasing for other ports that this can be done in a safe and efficient way – not only here, but in other ports around the world as well,” said Senior Business Development Manager Energy at the Gothenburg Port Authority, Christoffer Lillhage.

“In the end, it [methanol fuel] will contribute to the industry’s goal to decarbonise shipping at large.”

The bunkered ship was Stena Line’s ro-ro and passenger vessel, Stena Germanica, which until now has been bunkering methanol solely from trucks.

Head of Sustainability at Stena Line, Maria Tornvall, said: “The Stena Germanica, connecting Gothenburg, Sweden with Kiel, Germany, became the world’s first methanol-powered ferry when Stena Line converted the 240 metre vessel in 2015 in partnership with Methanex, Wärtsilä, the Port of Gothenburg and the Port of Kiel.”  

Operating regulations for methanol bunkering is a prerequisite that the Port of Gothenburg published in April, 2022. 

Stena Line is the owner of the vessel in question and the purchaser of the methanol. 

The tanker operator, E&S, carried out the bunkering itself in practice, and methanol producer and supplier, Methanex, provided the fuel.

READ: Port of Gothenburg prepares for ship-to-ship methanol bunkering

“This first ship to ship methanol bunkering for a non-tanker, leveraging our partners E&S Tankers and Port of Gothenburg, is further evidence that methanol is globally available, safe to ship, store, and handle using procedures similar to those for conventional marine fuels,” said Karine Delbarre, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing & Logistics at Methanex.

Methanol as a marine fuel has positive environmental and climate properties and is making strong progress in international shipping. 

Maersk has 19 larger methanol propelled container ships on order.

Maersk have made a number of other investments into the low carbon emitting fuel, including investing in Berlin-based, C1 Green Chemicals AG, a firm specialising in producing green methanol.

They have also signed a new partnership with Chinese bioenergy enterprise Debo to boost global green methanol production capacity.

X-Press Feeders is another major player that will start launching eight methanol propelled vessels this year, and many other shipping companies are placing new methanol vessels in the order books.

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