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Friday, June 25, 2021 

Since Stena Line's conversion in 2015 of the 240m ro-pax vessel 'Stena Germanica', the company has been looking at more steps towards zero carbon operation, and has now successfully powered the vessel with methanol recycled from residual steel gases.

Stena Germanica has travelled from Gothenburg in Sweden to Kiel in Germany powered by a new fuel dubbed ‘Blue Methanol’, which is manufactured from by-products of the steel production industry. It helps reduce the ferry’s reliance on diesel, thus further lowering the vessel’s carbon emissions. The ro-pax achieved a first when the dual-fuel system was converted to allow the vessel to run on both methanol and diesel fuel. Stena Line's partners in the project included Methanex, Wärtsilä and EU's Motorways of the Seas project.

"It is exciting to be part of our sustainable journey and try out another new sustainable fuel. I can confirm that we sailed with the new fuel from Gothenburg to Kiel on June 22 and it worked very well,” said Peter Holm, Chief Engineer Stena Germanica.

While methanol is a fossil fuel, it is cleaner than traditional marine fuel. Sulphur and particulates are reduced by 90% and nitrogen by 60%. The steel industry and the maritime sector are two of the world’s biggest emitters of CO2, accounting for 6-8% and 2.5% of all CO2 emissions respectively. The FReSMe project, funded by H2020 EU program, aims to demonstrate the whole process that enables the CO2 captured from the steel industry to produce methanol fuel that will be used as fuel in the ship transportation sector.

“This collaboration between the steel and the maritime sectors is the first of its kind and demonstrates that by working together companies from different backgrounds can greatly improve their impact on the climate. For Stena Line this is another successful proof of concept for our methanol conversion ferry and a further bridge towards our aim of fossil free shipping,” said Erik Lewenhaupt, Head of Sustainability Stena Line Group.

Stena Line says it is currently 10 years ahead of international maritime emission reduction targets; aiming by 2030 to reduce total CO2 emissions by 30%, key to which is to increase the use of alternative fuels, such as methanol, hydrogen, and battery power.

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