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MethaShip Project Launched to Study Methanol Fueled... A new project involving Lloyd's Register (LR), German shipyard Meyer Werft and German shipbuilder FlensburgerFlensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) and funded by the German government will assess the...

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PUMP the Movie Available Now in the iTunes Store PUMP, produced by MI member Fuel Freedom Foundation, is an inspiring, eye-opening documentary that tells the story of America's oil addiction. From its corporate conspiracy beginnings to its current...

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RFS Faces Challenges as US EPA Seeks to Increase Low-Carbon... The US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) flagship Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program faces considerable challenges in 2015 as the Administration looks to finalize long-overdue blend mandates...

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Ningxia Province Releases Local M15 and M30 Methanol... Ningxia, China - On Wednesday, the Quality Supervision Bureau of Ningxia Autonomous Region (Province) in China released local standards that had been developed for M15 methanol gasoline for vehicles (DB64...

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Stena Germanica to Run on Methanol Goeteborg, Sweden:  Swedish ferry company Stena Line, which is one of the world's largest ferry companies, announced on Wednesday that it would covert the Stena Germanica to run on methanol propulsion. ...

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MethaShip Project Launched to Study Methanol Fueled Ships

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Metha ShipA new project involving Lloyd’s Register (LR), German shipyard Meyer Werft and German shipbuilder FlensburgerFlensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) and funded by the German government will assess the feasibility of building new methanol-powered vessels.

Two designs, one for a cruise ship, and one for a ro-pax ferry will be developed during the three year project.

LR’s Project Manager, Dirk Schroeder said “I believe methanol has great potential as a fuel for ships.  While LNG has been widely promoted as the fuel-efficient alternative for shipowners and operators seeking low-emission alternatives to heavy fuel oil (HFO), recent research into methanol-as-a-fuel has revealed a number of benefits.  The design of ships’ operating systems for using methanol as a fuel is similar to existing fuel systems.”

The project will also focus on bunkering.  “We will study options for bunkering methanol and canvass port authorities’ attitudes to the fuel to help identify weaknesses in the logistics chain” said Schroeder.  More information can be found on page 21 of LR’s Horizons magazine here.

PUMP the Movie Available Now in the iTunes Store

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Social (E)PUMP, produced by MI member Fuel Freedom Foundation, is an inspiring, eye-opening documentary that tells the story of America’s oil addiction. From its corporate conspiracy beginnings to its current monopoly today, Pump explains clearly and simply how we can end it and finally win choice at the pump, saving Americans thousands of dollars every year and creating millions of new jobs.

PUMP is available now on iTunes. Rent or download it today here

RFS Faces Challenges as US EPA Seeks to Increase Low-Carbon Biofuels

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RFSmandateThe US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) flagship Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program faces considerable challenges in 2015 as the Administration looks to finalize long-overdue blend mandates that could begin to balance the production of low-carbon cellulosic and advanced biofuels with more conventional corn-based ethanol.
For example, the corn sector is likely to oppose any effort that reduces their blending requirements relative to other fuel sources while the oil industry, which is urging Congress to repeal the program, is already charging that EPA’s approval of some low-carbon fuels is at odds with statutory requirements.
Under the RFS, EPA sets annual fuel production targets for various renewable fuels that emit fewer greenhouse gases (GHGs) than conventional gasoline. Cellulosic and advanced biofuels have the lowest carbon footprint of the fuels required to comply, with cellulosic generally having to emit 60% fewer GHGs than petroleum while advanced biofuels must emit 50% fewer GHGs.
The EPA has recently been issuing growing numbers of approvals of fuels that can be used to meet the mandates, aiding Obama Administration efforts to bolster low-carbon fuel mandates.
For example, last July, EPA approved a rule that allows several feedstocks to qualify for credit under the cellulosic and advanced fuel categories, including compressed and liquefied natural gas produced from biogas from landfills, municipal waste-water treatment facilities, agricultural digesters, and similar biogas producers.
EPA also used the rule to qualify electricity used to power electric vehicles produced from the biogas sources to be counted as cellulosic biofuel under the RFS.
Late last month, the Agency also suggested that it would likely approve sorghum for use as a fuel for credit in the cellulosic category because it met or exceeded the 60% GHG threshold.
The pathway decisions will likely lead to thousands of renewable identification number (RIN) credits being produced that refiners can use to comply with the program’s cellulosic requirements, undermining oil industry efforts to repeal the program due to lack of adequate production.  More information can be found here.

Ningxia Province Releases Local M15 and M30 Methanol Gasoline Standards

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ningxia provinceNingxia, China – On Wednesday, the Quality Supervision Bureau of Ningxia Autonomous Region (Province) in China released local standards that had been developed for M15 methanol gasoline for vehicles (DB64 / T1017-2014) and M30 methanol gasoline for vehicle (DB64 / T1018-2014). M15 fuels are comprised of 15% methanol and 85% gasoline blends, and M30 similarly contains 30% methanol and 70% gasoline.  The two local standards were jointly drafted by the Ningxia Quality Supervision Institute and Boata Petrochemical, a local petrochemical company.

Ningxia’s announcement follows similar initiatives by Shanxi, Shaanxi, and Guizhou provinces, as well as by Shanghai.  In total, 27 Chinese provinces are engaged in methanol standards work and/or development of methanol fuel blends.  Ningxia is keen to promote methanol fuel developments due to the favorable, long-term economics and improved environmental emissions quality.  More information can be found here.

Stena Germanica to Run on Methanol

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Stena LineGoeteborg, Sweden:  Swedish ferry company Stena Line, which is one of the world’s largest ferry companies, announced on Wednesday that it would covert the Stena Germanica to run on methanol propulsion.  The 240 meter (792 foot) long, 1,500-passenger ship will be converted to run on methanol at the Remontova Shipyard in Poland starting in January.

The process, which will take six weeks to complete, will cost Euro 22 million (USD 27.6 million).  It is being financially supported by the European Union (EU)’s “Motorways of the Seas” initiative.  The project is also being done in cooperation with engine manufacturer Wärtsilä, the port of Gothenburg, the port of Kiel, and MI member Methanex Corporation.

Stena Germanica will be converted at Remontova Shipyard in Poland starting January 2015; the process is expected to take six weeks and is financially supported by the EU “Motorways of the Seas” initiative. Total project cost is about Euro 22 million.

From early 2015, vessels in the area around the Baltic and North Sea, known as the “Sulphur Emissions Control Area” (SECA) will need to use fuel with a low sulphur content of 0.1%; by 2020, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will require all ships operating in other areas globally to reduce sulphur (SOx) emissions to 0.5%.  In addition to changing to low-sulphur oils, Stena Line is evaluating methanol and other alternative fuels and techniques for emissions reduction.  It is estimated that by using methanol in marine fuels, SOx emissions will be reduced by 99$%, nitrogen (NOx) by 60%, particles (PM) by 95%, and carbon dioxide (CO2) by 25%, as compared to emissions from today’s bunker and marine fuels.

MI led a delegation of members to Trieste, Italy in June to meet with Wartsila and Stena.  While there, they discussed the joint project, the future of marine fuels in Europe, and had an opportunity to observe the first test running of a Stena engine retrofitted to run on methanol.  Toni Stojcevski, Wärtsilä’s Project Manager on the Stena program, will speak further about marine fuel technologies and the work Wärtsilä and Stena are doing during the QAFAC Middle East Methanol Forum (MEMF), which will be held next Wednesday, November 26 in Doha, Qatar.  A video on this technology can also be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTSczYMZIE8.  More information can be found here.

MI-LIAM Community Education Presentation at IMPCA Asia 2014

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LIAM SingaporeSingapore – The 17th IMPCA Asian Methanol Conference 2014 was held this Tuesday-Thursday at The Regent Hotel Singapore.

This year’s conference, under the theme, “China Driving Global Growth of Methanol,” attracted 140 participants from methanol producers, consumers, and affiliated technology companies from around the globe.  Much of the conference’s focus was on China’s increasing importance as a methanol hub for areas ranging from fuel blending and dimethyl ether (DME) production to methanol-to-olefins (MTO) and coal-to-methanol applications.

Paul Moschell, President of MI member Atlantic Methanol Production Companies (AMPCO), MI Board member, and Chairman of the Institute’s Product Stewardship Committee, and Lhani & Tim Davies, founders of the LIAM Charitable Fund, gave an excellent, moving presentation about alcohol poisoning incidents globally and in Indonesia, the death of the Davies’ son Liam in January 2013, and how MI and LIAM have worked closely on the Community Education Program in Bali.

MI filmed the video presentation, and will make it available via the Institute’s social media resources in the coming weeks.

Methanol’s Potential in Wastewater Treatment Nitrogen Removal

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Wastewater Treatment PlantRichmond, Virginia- An article in Wednesday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch notes that breweries and cider makers in the city have had their wastewater utility surcharge lowered due to their production of methanol as a byproduct of their brewing activities.

Methanol can be used by wastewater treatment plants to lower levels of nitrogen in wastewater thereby improving water quality of rivers and bays downstream from the plant.  The city of Richmond, for example, is completing a  USD $115 million upgrade of its wastewater treatment plant to reduce the discharge of nitrogen and phosphorus and the city will be purchasing USD $1.2 million in methanol per-year to operate the plant.

As states and municipalities across the United States become more concerned about nitrogen discharge, there is an increasing potential market opportunity for methanol to be used as a carbon source to reduce nitrogen levels.

MI has recently contracted with Gary Johnson, an Environmental Engineering Consultant with over 30 years of experience in the nitrogen removal field to develop a database of specific municipal and industrial users of supplemental carbon for denitrification across the United States.  This database will identify potential market opportunities for the methanol industry.  In addition, Gary will work with MI to develop outreach materials for improving the awareness of methanol to the wastewater treatment community and explaining methanol’s benefits as a carbon source for denitrification.   More information can be found here.

GEM Fuels Rally Season Ends in Barcelona

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IMG_9889This weekend, 1.5 to 2 million visitors will witness live the final stage of the 2014 Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy featuring the next generation of rally car drivers racing in and around Barcelona.

This is the 10th event held over the past two years using GEM Fuels – 42% renewable methanol, 21% bio-ethanol, and 37% gasoline.

MI member Iceland’s Carbon Recycling International provided the Vulcanol renewable methanol used by GEMS rally cars for this year’s series.  On Thursday, the first day of the Barcelona stage, the GEM fuel partners were on-hand, with representatives from MI, Methanex, Natgasoline, and Abengoa.  The partners had an opportunity for a meet-and-greet with the drivers, including front-runner Sander Parn of Estonia, before watching the first leg of the race take place on the streets of downtown Barcelona.  Over the past two years, 24 drivers logged 16,000 kilometers running on 38,000 liters of GEM fuels, while reducing CO2 emissions by 66,000 kilograms.

MHTL Names Dennis Patrick CEO

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Dennis Patrick Picture for Chairman's LetterThe Board of Directors of MI member company Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Limited (MHTL) has announced the confirmation of Dennis Patrick as MHTL’s Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Patrick, who also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for MI, had been MHTL’s Acting Chief Executive Officer since 2013.  He has worked in the energy sector for over 35 years, and joined MHTL in 1996.  Prior to his current role, he was the company’s Chief Commercial Officer and had responsibility for the global commercial, marketing and logistics activities for its Methanol, Ammonia, UAN solution and Melamine products.

 

 

 

Stena Methanol Fueled Ferry Moving Forward

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stena-germanica-3-dd702f10-78a4-4c5d-8700-9db2b349a05aThe new sulfur limits that will apply within the North European SECA area from January 1, 2015, are good news for the environment but pose a particular challenge to Gothenburg, Sweden, headquartered ferry giant Stena Line. It has 39 vessels in operation on 23 ferry routes in Scandinavia, around the U.K. and to the Baltics. It is now being forced to increase freight prices as a direct result of increased fuel costs -and is looking to use alternate fuels, including methanol.

In early 2015 we will be starting a trial with methanol as a fuel on one of our ferries,” says Stena Line’s CEO Carl-Johan Hagman.

According to earlier reports, Stena Line has been looking to switch up to 25 vessels to methanol fuel. In a presentation at Interferry last October, it was reported that the Stena Germanica is the subject of an EU funded full scale conversion that will see all four Wärtsila 8ZAL40S main engines converted to methanol-diesel operation, with the tanks and systems scheduled for installation in the first quarter of this year, conversion of two main engines following in the fourth quarter and the other two in fourth quarter 2015. More information can be found here.