Recycled methanol powers Stena ferry from Sweden to Germany

Recycled methanol powers Stena ferry from Sweden to Germany
The project has received funding from the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme

Swedish ferry company Stena Line has powered its Stena Germanica with methanol recycled from residual steel gases.

The vessel travelled from Sweden to Germany powered by recycled methanol. The new fuel dubbed ‘Blue Methanol’, is recycled from residual steel gases, a by product of the steel production industry and helps reduce the ferry’s reliance on diesel, thus lowering the vessel’s carbon emissions further.

This week’s journey is another milestone in this ground-breaking project, which launched in 2015 when the dual-fuel system onboard Stena Germanica was converted to allow the vessel to run on both methanol and diesel fuel. It is the world’s first methanol powered RoPax (passenger and freight) ferry, which operates on the Gothenburg – Kiel route.

Stena Line developed it with several partners, including Methanex, Wärtsilä and EU’s Motorways of the Seas project. The conversion project was the first of its kind in the world.

“It is exciting to be part of our sustainable journey and try out another new sustainable fuel. I can confirm that we sailed with the new fuel from Gothenburg to Kiel on June 22 and it worked very well,” said Peter Holm, chief engineer onboard the Stena Germanica.

While methanol is still a fossil fuel, it is believed to be cleaner than traditional marine fuel. Sulphur and particulates are reduced by 90 per cent and nitrogen by 60 per cent.

The FReSMe project, funded by H2020 EU program, aims to demonstrate the whole process that enables the CO2 captured from the steel industry to produce methanol fuel that will be used as fuel in the ship transportation sector.

“This collaboration between the steel and the maritime sectors is the first of its kind and demonstrates that by working together companies from different backgrounds can greatly improve their effect on the climate. For Stena Line this is another successful proof of concept for our methanol conversion ferry and a further bridge towards our aim of fossil free shipping,” commented Erik Lewenhaupt, head of sustainability at the Stena Line Group.