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Stena Line launches the world’s first methanol ferry

Press release   •   Mar 31, 2015 16:51 BST

Sustainable sea transports demand new solutions for the future. Stena Line has chosen to focus its attention on the alternative fuel methanol, and now the world’s first methanol powered ferry, the Stena Germanica, has been launched on the Kiel–Gothenburg route.

On 26 March, the Stena Germanica re-entered service after a couple of months’ lay off to facilitate conversion work. Now, as the world’s first methanol powered ferry goes into service, Stena Line is the first shipping company to operate a ferry with environmentally friendly methanol as the main fuel. On Friday the 27th March there was an inauguration ceremony in Kiel followed by a similar ceremony in Gothenburg on 30th March.

“We are very enthusiastic about methanol’s possibilities and it has the potential to be the maritime fuel of the future. We want to pursue change and development in the shipping sector and, with the Stena Germanica, our environmental impact will be completely different to what the industry has seen before,” said Carl-Johan Hagman, CEO Stena Line.

Methanol is a biodegradable, environmentally friendly and cost efficient fuel that reduces the emissions of sulphur and particles by 99 percent. The Stena Germanica’s fuel system and engines have been adapted in the shipyard in a collaboration between Stena Line and Wärtsilä. The technology is called dual fuel – methanol is the main fuel, but there is the option to use Marine Gas Oil (MGO) as backup.

The conversion of the Stena Germanica was carried out in Gdansk, Poland, at the Remontova shipyard, starting at the end of January and continued until the end of March. The project has received support from the EU’s Motorways of the Seas initiative and has cost a total 22 million euros.

The conversion has already attracted praise for the innovative use of new technology and the progress this signposts for the marine environment.

“I think Stena Line’s initiative in being the first in the world to use methanol as an alternative fuel is extremely pleasing. Together with the impressive efforts made in its Energy Saving Programme, ESP, over a number of years, this demonstrates a great commitment to sustainable development. This is showing shipping the way forward, both in Sweden and globally, for how to protect responsibly the environment and climate,” the Swedish Maritime Administration’s Director General, Ann-Catrine Zetterdahl, says.

“Stena Line is steering a sustainable and particularly environmentally friendly course. We are proud that the route between Kiel and Gothenburg was chosen and that we are part of this outstanding pilot project,” says Dr. Dirk Claus, managing director of Seehafen Kiel GmbH & Co KG.

At both events a number of prominent guests were in attendance. In Kiel, the owner of Stena Line, Dan Sten Olsson, gave a ceremonial speech as did Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Reinhard Meyer, Schleswig -Holstein’s Minister for Enterprise and Work, Dr. Ulf Kämpfer, Kiel’s Mayor and Björn Ullbro from the Finnish engine manufacturer Wärtislä.

In Gothenburg, ceremonial speeches were given by Stena Line’s CEO Carl-Johan Hagman, Swedish Maritime Administration’s Director General, Ann-Catrine Zetterdahl, Her Excellency Dr. Lisa Emelia Svensson, Ambassador of Sweden for Oceans, Seas and Fresh Water and Pierpaolo Barbone from the Finnish engine manufacturer Wärtislä.


Facts about methanol
Methanol is a colourless liquid that can be produced from natural gas, coal, biomass or CO2. By using methanol, the emissions of sulphur (SOx) are reduced by roughly 99 percent, nitrogen (NOx) by 60 percent, particles (PM) by 95 percent and carbon dioxide (CO2) by 25 percent when compared to international bunker fuels. The emissions from methanol are roughly the same as for LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas), but are easier to process and do not place the same demands on infrastructure. Since 2005, Stena Line has worked to reduce its environmental impact by means of an energy-saving programme and it has succeeded in reducing the energy consumption of its ships by an average of 2.5 percent per year.

For more information, please contact Fiona Brown of Duffy Rafferty Communications on Belfast +44 (0) 28 9073 0880

To view filmed material about Stena Line’s methanol project, where Carl-Johan Hagman, among others, is interviewed, visit Stena Line’s YouTube channel:

Stena Line is one of the world’s largest ferry operators with 35 ferries and 22 routes in northern Europe. Stena Line is an important part of the European logistics network and it is developing new intermodal freight solutions by combining transport by rail, road and sea. With its extensive passenger operations, Stena Line also plays an important role for tourism in Europe. The company is family-owned, was founded in 1962 and its head office in Gothenburg. Stena Line is part of the Stena Sphere, which has around 20,500 employees and a turnover of more than SEK 50 billion.

Stena Line operates the biggest fleet and the widest choice of routes between Ireland and Britain with an extensive route network including Belfast to Cairnryan, Belfast to Liverpool, Belfast to Heysham, Dublin Port to Holyhead and Rosslare to Fishguard.

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