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Green Methanol, the Next-Generation Eco-Friendly Vessel Fuel, Supplied to a Container Vessel in Ulsan Port for the First Time in the World

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- The First Step towards a New Port Service Market with the Export of Green Vessel Fuel -



 The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of the Government of South Korea (Minister Cho Seung-hwan) announced that 1,000 tons of green methanol* were successfully supplied to a container vessel on July 16 in Ulsan Port, South Korea, for the first time in the world.


   *Eco-friendly vessel fuel with its carbon reduction effect of up to 95%, including a 100% reduction in sulfur oxides and an 80% reduction in nitrogen oxides.



 This fuel supply in Ulsan Port is part of the "Eco-Friendly Fuel Vessel Demonstration Program in Ports", led by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries to facilitate the domestic eco-friendly fuel vessel industry. It is also a fruitful result of the support, which includes the rapid approval of administrative procedures and a reduction in port dues. The Ulsan Port Authority also established a task force consisting of shipping companies, shipbuilders, tank terminals, eco-friendly vessel fuel producers, and vessel fuel suppliers at the beginning of 2023 to comply with domestic regulations and implement administrative procedures while taking precautionary measures.



 However, as automobile exports spiked in contrast to market forecasts, led mainly by China, the global shortage in the supply of automobile carriers has aggravated, with the chartering cost of the carriers nearly tripling between pre-pandemic 2019 and the end of 2022. Renault Korea and SsangYong Motor, who are known to have a higher dependency on international shipping firms, are experiencing major challenges in securing freight space.



 The methanol-fueled ship, a 2,100 TEU container vessel ordered by Danish A.P. Moller - Maersk from the South Korean Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, is the first of 19 sister vessels to be powered by methanol. The container vessel will navigate from Ulsan Port through the Suez Canal to the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands and finally to Copenhagen, Denmark, covering a voyage of 21,500 km. It is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 80% compared to the use of traditional fuels.



 Additionally, the ship also received 1,250 tons of biodiesel* for the first time in Korea. The biodiesel was produced from 900,000 bottles of waste cooking oil (1.8 liters each for home use). This is much more meaningful that the resource recycling has opened a new market for the export of vessel fuel.


   *Eco-friendly fuel made from waste cooking oil and animal fat and has a carbon reduction effect of 75%.



 “A.P. Moller - Maersk is excited to collaborate with Ulsan Port on the maiden voyage of the world’s first container vessel sailing on green methanol. This journey is an important step in our efforts to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040*, as it will allow us to gain the necessary operational experience with the new engines and fuel ahead of the arrival of our larger methanol-enabled vessels in the coming years,” says Morten Bo Christiansen, Head of Energy Transition, A.P. Moller-Maersk.


   * A.P. Moller – Maersk had set its own commitment for net-zero by 2040, one decade ahead of the IMO’s net-zero GHG Emissions.



 "Ulsan Port is the world's fourth-largest port for liquid cargo, handling 200 million tons of chemicals, oils, and other liquids annually, and is home to one of the world’s best shipbuilders, HD Hyundai Group. It is the optimal location to serve as a hub for global green energy supply chains," says Kim Jae-gyun, CEO of Ulsan Port Authority. "The world’s first successful supply of green methanol and biodiesel to a commercial container ship will be an opportunity to promote Ulsan Port as a leading eco-friendly energy port to the world," he added.



 Cho Seung-hwan, the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, stated, "As the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted the goal of achieving net-zero by 2050 in the global shipping sector, the green vessel fuel market will experience rapid growth in the future." He declared, "We will spare no effort to make the transition to green fuel an opportunity to strengthen the competitiveness of Korea's ports and penetrate the export market for eco-friendly vessel fuel."


Department Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries,
Shipping and Logistics Bureau,
(Port Management Division)
Responsibility Director     Choi Jong-wook     (82-44-200-5770)
Person in charge Deputy 
                  Jang Ki-bong         (82-44-200-5773)
Department Ulsan Port Authority
Operations Division
(Marketing Department)
Responsibility Director     Kim Byeong-gu      (82-52-228-5422)
Person in charge Manager    Bae Sang-hee        (82-52-228-5418)



Reference 1

Overview of Green Methanol and Biodiesel Supply to Vessels in Ulsan Port


(Period/Venue) Green methanol: July 16, Sunday, 2023, OTK Pier 1 at Ulsan Port /
   Biodiesel: July 15, Saturday, 2023, Main Port Pier 8 at Ulsan Port

(Vessel fuel) Green methanol (1,000 tons), biodiesel (1,250 tons)

(Supply method) Green methanol: PTS (Pipe to Ship), biodiesel: STS (Ship to Ship)

(Incentives) A 50% discount (up to 50 million won) on the arrival and departure charge (both the receiving ship and the bunkering ship), a 20% discount (up to 100 million won) on the port dues (the bunkering port)

*Selected at the call for ‘Eco-Friendly Fuel Vessel Demonstration Program in Ports’ on July 12.

Vessel fuel Fuel Green methanol Biodiesel
Quality standards International Methanol Producers and Consumers Association standard (IMPCA) European biodiesel standard (EN14214)
Fuel supply status (plan) Supplier OCI Global JC Chemical Co., Ltd.
Headquarters The Netherlands South Korea
Place of
Houston, US Ulsan, South Korea
Supply agency Odfjell Terminals Korea (OTK) Hyundai Corporation
Quantity supplied 1,000 tons 1,250 tons
Storage location OTK Pier 1 Main Port Pier 8
The receiving vessel · (Ship name) MAERSK (HMD Hull #4168)
· (Ship owner) MAERSK LINE
· (Type) Dual-fuel methanol containership
· (Gross tonnage/Load capacity) 26,645 GT / 2,100 TEU
· (Length/Breadth/Depth/Draught) 172 m / 32 m / 16.8 m / 8.5 m
The bunkering port · (Facility) OTK Pier 1 (Private Ownership)
· (Owner) Odfjell Terminals Korea
· (Type) Dolphin
· (Length/Depth) 391 m / 11 m
· (Berthing capacity) 40,000 DWT×1, 20,000 DWT×1
The bunkership · (Ship name) SONG SOON HO, DONG BANG NO.1
· (Type) TANKER
· (Gross tonnage) 498 GT, 388 GT
· (Load capacity) 1,224.535 kl, 939.070 kl



Photos of Green Methanol and Biodiesel Supply to Vessels in Ulsan Port