First methanol-powered feeder joins X-Press Feeders’ fleet


X-Press Feeders welcomes its first methanol-fuelled feeder as it readies to launch Europe’s inaugural feeder routes powered by green methanol.

Singapore-based shipowner X-Press Feeders has taken delivery of its first methanol-powered feeder vessel, built by China’s Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Holdings.

Eco Maestro is the first of a series of four methanol dual fuel 1,260 TEU containerships, and it will navigate feeder routes in Northern Europe.

The dual-fuel feeder, capable of running on conventional fuel and green methanol, departed from Shanghai last week, marking the beginning of its journey to Rotterdam.

Designed by German naval architects TECHNOLOG Servies GmbH and Marine Design & Research Institute of China (MARIC), Eco Maestro is powered by S5ME MAN dual-fuel engine, and classed by DNV.

The vessel features several energy-saving technologies, such as shaft generators, adjustable propellers, and a hanging flap rudder. With a designed speed of 14 knots, the ships from the series comply with both EEDI phase three requirements and IMO Tier III standards.

“As the first of its kind built in China, it features a dual-fuel engine that can run on green methanol, spearheading Europe’s first feeder network powered by green methanol starting in Q3,” the company said announcing the delivery.

As disclosed earlier, Eco Maestro will use bio-methanol on its voyage to Europe. Bio-methanol is a renewable energy source produced from the decomposition of organic matter, such as waste and residues.

After the inaugural voyage from Shanghai to Rotterdam, the vessel will be operating on a feeder network in Northern Europe, based in the Port of Rotterdam.  X-Press Feeders has signed a firm contract with Dutch fuel supplier OCI Global for the supply of green methanol at the port starting in 2024.

The company estimates that its dual-fuel vessel deployed on a round voyage service would save 268kg of CO2e emissions for every TEU carried when compared to a feeder vessel of similar capacity running on conventional marine fuel.

X-Press Feeders has 14 methanol-powered vessels on order and are due for delivery from 2024 to mid-2026. The company plans to use its methanol dual-fuel vessels to create ‘green routes’ in the Scandinavia-Baltic region of northern Europe. A portion of these ships will also operate in the Mediterranean.

In February this year, Evergreen Marine Corporation signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with X-Press Feeders to place its containers on X-Press Feeders’ methanol-fuelled vessels.

X-Press Feeders has also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with six European ports: Port of Antwerp Bruges (Belgium), Port of Tallinn (Estonia), Port of Helsinki (Finland), Port of HaminaKotka (Finland), Freeport of Riga (Latvia) and Klaipeda Port (Lithuania) to accelerate the establishment of green corridors and broader decarbonisation of the marine sector in Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea. Through this MOU, X-Press Feeders and the participating ports will pool resources and expertise to develop and implement sustainable practices for maritime operations.

The collaboration between the parties will begin with the establishment of these two shipping routes:

  • Green Baltic X-PRESS (GBX): Rotterdam > Antwerp Bruges > Klaipeda > Riga > Rotterdam
  • Green Finland X-PRESS (GFX): Rotterdam > Antwerp Bruges > Helsinki > Tallinn > HaminaKotka > Rotterdam

These services are scheduled to commence in Q3 2024, creating the first scheduled feeder routes in Europe powered by green methanol.

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