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Wärtsilä bags China's largest methanol newbuild engine order

A total of 60 methanol auxiliary engines have been ordered for 12 container vessels for Chinese owners.

Wärtsilä announced it has secured a contract to supply methanol-fuelled auxiliary engines for seven container vessels on order for Orient Overseas Container Line and five newbuild container vessels for COSCO Shipping Lines. 

The ships are all of a 24,000 teu design and expected to begin commercial operation in 2026. Nantong COSCO KHI Ship Engineering yard is building the Orient Overseas Container Line ships while the COSCO Shipping Lines ships are under construction at Dalian COSCO KHI Ship Engineering yard.

The manufacturer said each vessel will have three of its three eight-cylinder and two six-cylinder Wärtsilä 32M engines. Booked in December 2023, the order is the Chinese maritime sector’s largest to date for methanol-fuelled newbuild vessels, it said.

Wärtsilä joint venture company CWEC (Shanghai) will supply Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) exhaust cleaning systems and alternators for the ships.

Wärtsilä said using methanol as a fuel can cut GHG emissions, and that green methanol produced using renewable sources could become a central decarbonisation solution.

The transition to green methanol production will be particularly important for China, which currently generates most of its methanol from coal. A small number of CO2 to methanol projects have begun operation in China, with more under construction.

"With decarbonisation a major priority for the maritime industry, sustainable fuels, such as methanol, will play a vital role in helping shipping to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions,” says Roger Holm, President of Wärtsilä Marine and Executive Vice President at Wärtsilä Corporation.

“As a leader in shaping the decarbonisation of marine and energy industries, Wärtsilä continues to make strong investments in developing new fuel flexible technologies and products which enable the industry’s transition towards greener fuels. It’s why we value our long-term relationship with COSCO Shipping Lines and OOCL and are strongly aligned with their vision in accelerating towards net-zero emissions shipping.”

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