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            october 20, 2019

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Stena Line to convert one of its vessels


Swedish ferry and ro-ro operator Stena Line plans to convert one of its vessels, the Stena Germanica, to be dual-fuelled so that it can run on either methanol or bunker, according to Shipping Gazette.
The project will begin in January, and the cost of the EUR22 million (US$27.6 million) conversion is being supported with European funds.
The conversion project comes in response to the new low sulphur fuel rule that applies from January 1, mandating all vessels operating in emission control areas (ECAs) covering the English Channel, the North and Baltic seas to use fuel with a maximum of 0.1 per cent sulphur content.
The other alternative to meet the more stringent regulations would be for ships to use abatement technology to remove the sulphur in the ships' exhaust to an equivalent level.
The ferry's conversion will take place in a year in Poland and the supplier of the vessel's methanol will be the Methanex Corporation. Wartsila, the Finnish engineering group and engine maker, is also involved in the project, reported Lloyd's List.
Stena Line chief executive Carl-Johan Hagman said in a statement that the company will look at converting other vessels to run off methanol if this pilot conversion works well. The company is also looking at other options for its vessels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), scrubbers and electric propulsion.
Some owners such as DFDS and Finnlines have already said they will mostly use exhaust gas scrubbers to meet the sulphur challenge, while others have begun ordering dual-fuelled vessels capable of running on LNG.
Most vessels operating in an ECA will have to start using distillate fuels which are 50 per cent more expensive than standard bunker.
There remain fears that the increase in fuel bills will have to be passed on to customers who may opt to use rail and road transport if freight costs become too high.

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