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Maersk signs MoU with City of Yokohama and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical on development of green methanol bunkering infrastructure

A.P. Moller-Maersk (Maersk) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the City of Yokohama and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical (MGC) focused on the development of green methanol bunkering infrastructure in Yokohama. Maersk’s 16,000 TEU green methanol-powered container vessels will be delivered beginning in 2024.

Maersk is targeting net-zero emissions by 2040 throughout its entire business. For shipping, it will equip its 25 container vessels with dual-fuel engines capable of sailing on green methanol. The successful implementation of this initiative heavily relies on the establishment of port bunkering infrastructure for methanol worldwide.

The City of Yokohama oversees the Port of Yokohama, which includes the Minami-Honmoku container terminal operated by APM Terminals Japan. The port stands as Japan’s deepest water berth, featuring a total length of 1,600 meters and a draft of 18 meters. It features advanced STS cranes, capable of reaching out up to 24 rows. Since the opening of Yokohama Port in 1859, it has served as a pivotal gateway to Japan and Asia.

As part of its commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, Yokohama is at the forefront of developing Japan’s green shipping corridors. Yokohama Port hasheld the record for the highest number of foreign vessels calls in Japan for around 60 years, underscoring its critical role in maritime transportation where fuel supply and bunkering for vessels holds significant importance.

Moving forward, the three parties involved will collaborate to promote the use of green methanol in accordance with the memorandum.

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical is the largest methanol supplier in Japan with a contribution of more than 50% of the country’s methanol supply.



Green methanol is much cleaner for ship fuel than the bunker oil they use which is horrible, you can take methanol preform it and use it in SOFCs to run electric motors on the ships and be even cleaner. If you use output turbines on the fuel cells with alternators you get even higher efficiency considering how much energy a large ocean-going ship uses this could be beneficial.

Lewis Cleverdon

To be clear, unlike bunker fuels, green methanol is carbon neutral and when burned in an IC engine it yields kinetic energy, waste heat, water vapour, cycled CO2, near-zero particulates, very little NOx and no sulphur dioxide. When it is supplied to a "Reformer Methanol Fuel Cell" (RMFC - an HT PEM fuel cell with built in reformer, as now in commercial production in Demark, Germany, USA & China) it yields power, some waste heat, water vapour and cycled CO2. See :

To date the RMFC is produced mostly on a tens of kW scale, with some in hundreds of kW but very few on a MW scale. Shipping firms have declared an interest in the future use of the RMFC for large ships when they are available at scale, but at present they are relying on methanol-capable IC engines for new ships, with RMFCs starting to be used as on-board generators.

Since August 2021 over 200 new ships have been ordered with dual fuel capability for methanol and bunker fuel, since ship owners cannot be entirely certain of sufficient green methanol supplies while production is being ramped up. A further advance is the development of equipment that can be retrofitted to extant ships to make them capable of running on methanol.

These developments mean that the global shipping industry can no longer be considered difficult with regard to its transition out of fossil fuel dependence.

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