Bahri Chemicals to time-charter two methanol-powered ships

January 25 2024 Print This Article

Proman, the world’s second largest methanol producer, and Bahri, a global leader in logistics and transportation, have announced a five-year agreement for Bahri Chemicals, a Bahri business unit, to time-charter two methanol-powered ships, Stena Provident and Stena Progressive, to transport various products globally.

The vessels were officially named during a ceremony hosted at Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) in China in November 2023 where both ships were built. The vessels are the final two of an initial six-strong methanol-fuelled tanker fleet commissioned through the partnership between Proman and Stena Bulk.

The state-of-the-art IMOIIMeMAX ships are highly efficient dual-fuel tankers with Marineline coating that can be used to ship a wide variety of cargo, bulk products, and chemicals. Since the delivery of the Stena Pro Patria in 2022, the first vessel of the IMOIIMeMAX fleet, operational efficiency has been demonstrated by the low EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index) value. Phase 3 of the EEDI requires all vessels built from 2022 to achieve at least a 30% reduction in carbon intensity (grams CO2 per ton-mile) by 2025, and the Stena Pro Patria has already delivered 11% below this level, setting a new benchmark for methanol-fuelled tankers.

Anita Gajadhar, Executive Director of Marketing and Logistics at Proman, credited the long-standing and fruitful relationship between the two companies and the proven capabilities of methanol as a cleaner fuel as key to the deal. She also highlighted the record-breaking number of methanol dual-fuel ships due for delivery in the coming years, adding “methanol is increasingly becoming a mainstream marine fuel and Proman is committed to time-chartering our vessels to enable others to gain operational experience of using methanol as a fuel, to realise the immediate air quality benefits and emissions reductions it brings, and to understand its value and role on the pathway to a lower-emission future”.

Faisal Al Husseini, President of Bahri Chemicals stated: “The path to carbon reduction in the maritime transportation ecosystem is multi-faceted. We at Bahri Chemicals believe methanol is an important component of that equation. As the flagship carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the largest owner and operator of IMO2 MR vessels, we strive to continually play a vital role in protecting the environment and setting industry standards.” 

Compared with conventional marine fuel, methanol cuts nitrogen oxides (NOx) by up to 80 percent and virtually eliminates sulphur oxides (SOx) and particulate matter, delivering immediate cleaner air benefits. It is also biodegradable in water, compatible with existing technology, easy to handle, and widely available at over 120 ports globally.

Since methanol’s properties are the same no matter how it is produced, methanol from different feedstocks and with the use of Carbon Capture technology can be blended or produced at a lower carbon intensity as production of green methanol ramps up. This offers a credible pathway that allows vessel owners to take the long-term investment decisions needed to allow their vessels to comply today and throughout their operational life.

To reduce its emissions, Bahri Chemical also recently took delivery of 10 eco newbuild “AMWAJ-type” vessels from Dammam-headquartered HMD General Contracting (HMD) in 2022 and 2023 featuring 60,000 m3 cubic capacity and wide beam design. Al Husseini affirmed that “creating scalable value collaboratively with our longstanding customers and like-minded partners will facilitate growth to come and allow us to meet our carbon reduction goals.”