Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL; President & CEO: Takeshi Hashimoto) announced the signing of basic agreement with Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, Inc. (President: Masashi Fujii; Headquarters: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) on 28th April, 2023 for the long-term charter of a methanol carrier, which can run on either methanol or conventional heavy fuel oil. The vessel, slated for delivery in 2025, will be built at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard.
Since MOL delivered Japan's first methanol carrier, the Kohzan Maru (first generation), to Mitsubishi Gas Chemical in 1983, the two companies have built a partnership centered on the ocean transport of methanol. The vessel will be the first dual-fuel methanol carrier to sail under a long-term charter for a Japanese company, and with the signing of the basic agreement, the two companies aim to further expand their cooperative relationship.
Methanol fuel can reduce sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions by up to 99%, particulate matter (PM) emissions by up to 95%, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by up to 80%, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 15% in comparison to burning conventional marine fuel. It is already in practical use and available for bunkering at about 130 major ports around the world. In the future, net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions can be reduced by using methanol derived from non-fossil raw materials, such as e-methanol produced by CO2 captured from diverse sources of emissions, hydrogen produced using renewable energy sources, and biogas-derived biomethanol.
MOL operates one of the world's largest fleets of methanol carriers, with a total of 19, and in 2016, started operating dual-fuel methanol carrier that can run on methanol fuel. The company currently operates five methanol dual-fuel methanol carriers worldwide, which have a cumulative methanol-fueled operating time of about 35,000 hours, achieving a significant reduction in GHG emissions. In January, the MOL-owned Cajun Sun completed the world's first net zero voyage using biomethanol. As a pioneer in reducing the shipping industry's environmental impact, MOL is also promoting various initiatives in the supply chain for alternative fuels for merchant vessels. In addition, MOL is advocating the reduction of environmental impact through "Environmentally Sustainable Methanol Story".
MOL has established the "MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.2," and is carrying forward environmentally friendly initiatives in line with five strategies, including the adoption of clean alternative fuels, with the aim of achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2050. It is promoting the use of methanol dual-fuel vessels as a means of achieving net-zero GHG emissions, and aims to have 90 LNG/methanol-fueled vessels in service by 2030.