Canadian methanol producer and supplier Methanex Corporation and Japanese shipping firm Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) have concluded definitive agreements for MOL to acquire 40 per cent stake in Methanex’s subsidiary Waterfront Shipping (WFS).

According to the companies, the definite agreements are in line with the previous contract signed in July this year. Under the contract, MOL is to acquire Waterfront’s stake for $145 million.

Through this transaction, Methanex as a methanol producer, WFS as a methanol shipper, and MOL as the provider of multimodal shipping services want to advance the commercialization of methanol, including renewable methanol, as a viable marine fuel.

Furthermore, the strategic partnership will strengthen a relationship established over 30 years between Methanex, WFS and MOL which, in 2016 in conjunction with other key partners, jointly built the first ocean-going dual-fuel vessel capable of running on methanol.

The closing of the agreement is subject to all customary conditions being met, including regulatory approval, the firms noted.

Starting January 1, 2020, restrictions on sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions were launched by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) globally. As a marine fuel, methanol can be compliant with the IMO’s 2020 regulations by reducing sulphur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) regulations without exhaust after-treatment.

What is more, methanol can offer a clear pathway towards meeting future carbon reduction targets in 2030 and 2050 when produced from renewable sources.

“Methanol is most commonly produced on a commercial scale from natural gas and coal. Methanol can also be made from renewable sources, such as municipal waste, biomass and recycled carbon dioxide,” the partners pointed out.

“As a marine fuel, methanol can reduce sulphur oxides (SOx) emissions by up to 99 percent, particulate matter (PM) emissions by up to 95 percent, nitrogen oxides (NOx) by up to 80 percent, and CO2 emissions by up to 15 percent during combustion compared to conventional marine fuels. Also, methanol produced from renewable sources can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 95 percent.”

Source: Offshore Energy