METHANEX and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines have signed an agreement for the two companies to establish a partnership involving Methanex subsidiary Waterfront Shipping.

MOL is to take a 40% minority interest in the subsidiary for US$145 million.

Methanex is a Vancouver-based, publicly traded company and is a major producer and supplier of methanol to major international markets.

Waterfront Shipping is a global marine transportation company specialising in the transport of bulk chemicals and clean petroleum products to major international markets in North America, Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America.

Waterfront Shipping operates a methanol ocean tanker fleet comprising about 30 vessels from 3000 to 50,000 deadweight tonnes.

Methanol is one of the new fuels vying to be the fuel of the future for the global maritime transportation industry.

A statement from MOL about the transaction said it would advance the commercialisation of methanol as a viable marine fuel.