Waterfront MR tanker order goes to four

Main methanol shipper looks to both increase cargo capacity and demonstrate use of fuel in shipping.

Waterfront Shipping Company looks to go to four on an order for medium-range (MR) tankers in a deal alongside major European and Asian owner.

Waterfront, the shipping arm of Canadian methanol producer Methanex, says the new MRs will join the seven existing ships in its fleet that can also run on methanol or fuel oil.

As originally reported in TradeWinds, Sweden's Marinvest will jointly own two of the vessels along with Waterfront.

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Japan's NYK will also own one of the vessels while the fourth will be jointly owned by IINO Kaiun Kaisha and Mitsui.

No price was released by Waterfront. The original methanol-capable vessels were priced at $44m. But the price of dual-fuel engine technology has dropped considerably since its was first introduced in 2016, according to a statement from engine maker MAN.

The Hyundai Mipo-built vessels are expected for 2019 delivery. Waterfront will have all the vessels on long-term hire.

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Waterfront previously worked with Marinvest, Mitsui OSK Lines and Germany's d Westfal-Larsen Management on the seven existing methanol-capable MRs in its fleet.

Waterfront Shipping, along with Methanex, is advocating methanol, which is produced from natural gas, as one route for the shipping industry to meet the International Maritime Organisation's 2020 emissions cap.

eab841ecf1baa8889567feb147fcfb3e Paul Hexter, president of Waterfront Shipping. Photo: Waterfront Shipping

"Our seven methanol-fueled vessels have been operating safely and reliably since 2016, and we expect these new vessels to benefit from ongoing technological advances that will continue to optimize performance and efficiency,” said Waterfront president Paul Hexter.

“We are proud to see 40% of our fleet powered by methanol-fuel technology in the coming year.”