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FASTWATER demonstrates methanol-powered pilot boat

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Sweden-based FASTWATER Consortium and the Swedish Maritime Administration (SMA) have successfully demonstrated a pilot boat which has been converted to operate on Methanol fuel.

The demonstration in Stockholm Harbour follows the successful bunkering of the vessel at the SMA pilot station in Oxelösund, Sweden, where the pilot boat will be based.

The event was addressed by Members of the Swedish National Parliament Johan Büser and Anders Hansson who spoke to the importance of alternative fuels like methanol in reducing carbon and pollution emissions on a local and national basis.

Sebastian Verhelst, FASTWATER Co-ordinator, said, “The FASTWATER project demonstrates that methanol is a present and practical choice for application in ports and coastal shipping for all kinds of small craft, where there is an urgent need to reduce pollution.”

Albert Wiström, Shipping Inspector, Sjöfartsverket added, “The pilot boat is the link between shore and ship 365 days a year in all weather conditions; for this we need a robust, reliable energy solution with simple storage which makes methanol the best option.”

“This pilot boat is probably one of the cleanest ships on the water, world-wide because it operates on Biomethanol; we have seen huge request for similar engines on the market,” commented Patrik Molander of engine supplier ScandiNAOS.

Gregory Dolan, CEO, The Methanol Institute, said, “Our congratulations go to FASTWATER, the SMA and their project partners for this successful demonstration of the potential of Methanol to help the industry transition to low carbon operations.”

The event provided a further demonstration of methanol’s suitability as a marine fuel, permitted within the IMO’s IGF Code with full Flag State and Class Society approval. Liquid at ambient temperature and miscible in water, methanol can be shipped, stored and handled using procedures similar to conventional fuels. In operation, it produces around 10% lower carbon emissions than fuel oil, has IMO-2020-compliant SOx emissions, low PM and NOx. As increasing volumes of renewable Methanol become available, operators can lower net carbon emissions further and achieve compliance beyond 2030.

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