First methanol retrofit project for a container vessel

Dec 7, 2023 | Featured Article, News

Alfa Laval fuel supply system FCM Methanol has been selected by Maersk for their pioneering methanol retrofit project to enable the container vessel Maersk Halifax to operate on methanol fuel. This project stands as a significant achievement for both Alfa Laval and Maersk, underscoring the feasibility of retrofitting ships with the necessary equipment for methanol-based propulsion.

Redefining the methanol journey with the industry frontrunner
Alfa Laval continues to drive the marine industry’s fuel transition with its methanol solutions, knowledge, and experience. The company has expanded its methanol-related expertise to offer solutions that suit the unique requirements of both new and existing vessels.

Alfa Laval will support A.P. Moller-Maersk (Maersk) with the installation of FCM Methanol low-flashpoint fuel supply system (LFSS) on board the 15,000 TEU Maersk Halifax. The retrofit is scheduled by mid-2024. This pioneering container vessel conversion will enable the vessel to sail on green methanol with dual-fuel capabilities.

“At Alfa Laval, we collaborate with the industry frontrunners in exploring and embracing innovative ways for decarbonization,” says Viktor Friberg, Head of Marine Separation & Fuel Supply Systems, Alfa Laval. “The project with Maersk gives us a unique opportunity to take up a new challenge – retrofitting our equipment for methanol use, for the first time. We are immensely proud to extend our expertise to this innovative retrofit project.”

Landmark retrofit project involving advanced engineering
The project will involve adding a new fuel line for methanol alongside the traditional fuel line, respecting the existing space constraints and the tight time schedule. The retrofit of the FCM Methanol is a landmark project that requires advanced engineering and an understanding of the practical considerations of working with methanol.

Alfa Laval’s dedication to technology research and product development, as well as its experience in both project execution and vessels in operation (> 450k hours), has prepared the company to take on challenges to equip both existing and new vessels with methanol solutions over time. The system can be designed to meet the specific requirements ensuring optimized performance and environmental efficiency.

“We have set an ambitious net-zero emissions target for 2040, and retrofitting of engines on our vessels to run on methanol is an important nut in our strategy. Retrofitting solutions to accommodate new fuel thereby enabling the engine to operate on methanol is a complex task that requires expertise, and we are happy to have Alfa Laval on board on this project,” says Ole Graa Jakobsen, Head of Fleet Technology, A.P. Moller-Maersk.  

Longest experience with methanol 
Sailing with green methanol fuel is a sustainable option to reduce emissions, but it requires a fuel supply system that can handle the fuel safely and effectively. With over 80 ships contracted, Alfa Laval has the longest experience in methanol FSS installation and service since 2015. It is the only system that has been powering methanol-fuelled vessels so far, with over 450 000 hours of operations and unmatched expertise.

Alfa Laval’s commitment towards delivering high-quality equipment and reliable services has made FCM Methanol the preferred choice for driving the transition to methanol as a marine fuel.