THE Methanol Institute has joined a study led by the China Waterborne Transportation Research Institute, part of the Chinese Ministry of Transport, considering the use of methanol as a marine fuel.

The study is supported by Methanex, the world’s largest methanol producer and distributor and Shanghai Huayi Energy Chemical Co, one of the biggest methanol producers and distributors in China.

The study is to “create comprehensive guidance and policy suggestions” for the use of methanol as a marine fuel, focused on the Chinese market.

“China is progressive in developing clean alternative fuels for its energy diversification and pollution control,” said Ji Yongbo, director of shipping technology Research Center of CWTRI.

“Methanex currently operates eleven dual-fuel methanol-powered vessels globally through our wholly-owned-subsidiary Waterfront Shipping,” said Zhang Jianning, president, Methanex China.

“Our experience to date has proven methanol as a safe, reliable, cost competitive and IMO 2020 compliant marine fuel and this study will provide an opportunity to decisively strengthen the offering of methanol as a widely available, future-proofed marine fuel in China,” he said.

Shanghai Huayi deputy chief engineer Guo Min said China had a sharp focus on air quality and emissions control for the transportation industry.


“We see potential opportunities for methanol to be used as an alternative fuel,” he said.

“As [the] IMO has confirmed in its interim guideline that methanol is a safe and compliant low flash point marine fuel, methanol can find its role in the sustainable development of China’s waterborne transportation sector.”

Methanol Institute chief operating officer Chris Chatterton said China was the largest producer and consumer of methanol globally and it had been used safely in the country for many years.

“We welcome the study by CWTRI which will support the use of methanol as a clean burning marine fuel,” Mr Chatterton said.