World’s 1st Methanol-Powered Container ship Reaches Final Destination

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The world’s first container vessel powered by green methanol has arrived in Copenhagen after completing a 21,500 km maiden trip from Ulsan, South Korea.

The  2,100 TEU boxes hip was assisted into the port of Copenhagen by Svitzer’s tugs and the container ship docked in the Toldboden area of the Copenhagen harbor near the headquarters of A.P. Moller – Maersk, where it will be officially named during a ceremony scheduled for tomorrow.

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, will be the godmother of Maersk’s new feeder vessel.

“What seemed like a dream two years ago is now a reality. This is proof that we can make this the decade of action,” Maersk said.

Maersk celebrated the arrival of the vessel in a live-streamed event joined by the ship’s first captain Brian Sørensen, Head of Fleet Management and technology Leonardo Sonzio, and Chief Engineer Heino Søgaard Nielsen.

“It’s alays exciting to take over a new vessel,” Captain Brian Sørensen said during the live event, explaining how it’s only when you take over the vessel from the yard that one becomes really ‘familiar with it.’

As explained by Sørensen, the crew had a lot of training and preparations for the ship’s bunkering operations to make sure all safety measures were in place when handling methanol, which is a flashpoint fuel that can emit flames invisible by daylight.

Some of these measures include extra firefighting equipment, fixed firefighting foam in the methanol room, bunker stations, and the bottom of the engine room, breakaway couplings on the bunkering hoses as well as CCT cameras on the bunker station so the crew doesn’t have to be physically present there during bunkering to avoid any exposure of the crew to the poisonous gas.

A methanol-powered containership needs to use two-two and a half times more methanol to obtain the same power when compared to conventional fuels due to its lower calorific value.

As explained by the captain, the two methanol tanks have been positioned just in front of the engine room, and outside this safety zone, the ship can be viewed as ‘a normal vessel’ which can carry dangerous cargo like other container vessels.

The Captain was available to deliver some insights on the maiden journey as the vessel had its first crew change in the Port of Rotterdam, two weeks ago, a stop that marked Europe’s first methanol bunkering.