Anyone got a meth lab?

This article compliments Maersk on their efforts to build a methanol-powered ship, and deploy it in the Baltic running on green methanol. I agree- it’s a great idea, and will actually be green, if they can pull off the creation of the sources of methanol properly.

But the author is less complimentary about how shipowners are approaching the fuel dilemma. He suspects that the craze for dual-fuel vessels is a way to hide the continued use of high-sulfur fuel oil (HSFO). Dual-fuel vessels can operate on methanol or ammonia or hydrogen, but don’t have to. When those fuels are available they could be used. But will they? It will probably be a lot cheaper to use HSFO, for quite a long time. These ships can claim ‘greenness’ without actually being green.

This could especially be a problem for ships reading in the ‘gray’ markets, such as sanctioned shipments. There’s no reason Russia or China for that matter should not continue to accept and make shipments delivered using HSFO. They are not participating in agreements to reduce maritime pollution from hydrocarbons.

It’s a real conundrum, and the splitting of world trade into two camps that follow different rules makes any sort of control harder.

We could be in for a long contest to actually reduce carbon output from ocean shipping.

Andrew Craig-Bennett April 11, 2023

Anyone got a meth lab? – Splash247

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