“Ane Maersk” bunkers methanol in Europe for the first time

The “Ane Maersk” is regarded as one of the pioneering projects for methanol propulsion in the maritime industry – where the question of fuel availability is a recurring topic of discussion. The first bunkering operation in European waters has now taken place in Antwerp.

The “Ane Maersk” is currently on its first voyage to Europe. At the MSC PSA European Terminal (MPET) in the port of Antwerp, the 16,000 TEU freighter completed its first bunkering operation in European waters, bunkering 4,300 tons of green methanol and 1,375 tons of biodiesel (B100)[ds_preview].

The “successful and efficient bunkering” is “a new milestone in the Port of Antwerp-Bruges’ efforts to make various fuels available”, the port authority has now announced – in which a variety of different climate-neutral fuels such as hydrogen, ammonia, methane and methanol are available for refuelling, in addition to the biofuels and heavy fuel oils already available.

The container ship, built by Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea, is equipped with a dual-fuel engine that can run on methanol as well as biodiesel and conventional heavy fuel oils. The “Ane Maersk” is the first of Maersk’s 18 large methanol-capable ships to be delivered between 2024 and 2025 and the second methanol-capable container ship in the world.

Maersk vessel to be supplied by TankMatch and VT

TankMatch sent two barges to transfer 4,300 tons of green methanol to the “Ane Maersk”. Subsequently, a VT Group barge delivered 1,375 tons of biodiesel (B100). “The bunkering process was seamlessly integrated into the ship’s port call, with bunkering taking place at the same time as loading and unloading the cargo,” the port continued. Simultaneous operations (SIMOPS) are intended to increase the efficiency of the port call.

The first bunkering with methanol took place in Antwerp-Bruges in June 2023, when 475 tons of methanol were bunkered on the tanker “Stena Pro Marine”. According to the port, it already has the capacity to store climate-neutral fuels for use in its industrial cluster and for distribution to the hinterland. Various tank storage terminals have invested in additional capacity or are planning to do so.

The Belgians carry out risk assessments for all types of fuel, draw up safety protocols and implement a licensing system for bunkering operations. Port Director Jacques Vandermeiren said: “As the fifth largest bunkering port in the world, we are determined to play a pioneering role in the integration of climate-neutral fuels into the bunkering market. The port of Antwerp-Bruges will provide facilities where possible, prepare both platforms for the use of multiple fuels and commit itself to making its fleet more environmentally friendly by using alternative fuels.”

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Copyright: Port of Antwerp-Bruges

Caption: "Ane Maersk" in Antwerp (© Port of Antwerp-Bruges)