Cosco Shipping is taking a leading role in the development of a green methanol supply chain in China, as an alternative shipping fuel.
The state-owned giant, which recently placed an order for 12 containerships with the possibility of using methanol fuel, as part of this initiative signed a memorandum of cooperation with State Power Investment Corp Limited (SPIC), Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) and China Certification & Inspection Group (CCIC).
The initiative will examine the production, transport, refueling and certification of green methanol for ships, as it is a “critical step for the shipping industry and for achieving environmental sustainability.”
Cosco Shipping announced that the companies involved intend to leverage their respective expertise to ensure the successful development of all key aspects of the green methanol industrial chain that will meet both domestic and foreign green certification standards.
In addition, it said that they will seek to promote the implementation of the first batch of green methanol production projects in China, as well as other alternative fuels for shipping.
“Establishing a green methanol industrial chain is not only necessary for shipping companies to align with the new trend of green, low-carbon and smart shipping, but also to provide their customers with sustainable and environmentally friendly logistics services at a global level,” Cosco Shipping underlined in its announcement. It further stated that this important initiative serves “to develop green and low-carbon industries.”
Shipbroker Clarksons recently reported that methanol-capable vessels account for 36% of alternative fuel capacity so far, up from 11% in 2022.
Global orders for methanol powered ships have exceeded 200 to date. Last year, Cosco Shipping ordered 12 dual-fuel methanol container ships, each with a capacity of 24,000 TEUs, making them the largest in the world.
Delivery of the newbuild containerships, valued at 239.8 million dollars each, will be spread over 2026 and 2028.
Cosco Shipping, headquartered in Shanghai, has a fleet of 1,394 vessels with a total tonnage of 113.8 million dwt. Its fleet capacity in containers is 3 million TEUs, ranking third worldwide, while its fleet in the bulk carrier market reaches 437 vessels.
Earlier this month, China Merchants, the country’s number two shipowner, ordered the world’s first methanol dual fuel VLCC.
China Merchants has also ordered methanol powered car carriers and aframax tankers.