Sweden's Stena Line has unveiled the world’s first methanol-fuelled ferry, the 2001-built Stena Germanica. Stena opted to try out methanol as a fuel to meet strict emission regulations, rather than liquefied natural gas or distillate fuels, believing it will be more economic for the company in the long run. Half of the €22m ($28m) project cost has been funded by the European Commission as it meets the criteria for Brussels' plans to green the region’s transport chain.
The Stena conversion saw one of the Stena Germanica’s four Wärtsilä four-stroke engines being modified by the engine maker to run off methanol. The preparatory work, which includes special pipeworks, has been done in such a way that if initial tests go well, the other engines will be converted during the year while the vessel is in service.
The latest vessel by Hobart shipbuilder Incat left Tasmanian waters for a new home in Japan. AKANE is an 85 metre wave piercer and becomes the first high-speed passenger and car carrier to operate for Sado Kisen from Niigata and Naoetsu, on the west coast of Japan, to the Sado Island ports. It will take 692 passengers and crew with vehicle deck space for 151 cars or 330 truck lane metres. AKANE is powered by four Caterpillar diesel engines, each rated at 5,650kW, and driving four Wärtsilä waterjets. Company chairman Bob Clifford said he is in negotiations for further work and will be going to Tokyo soon to talk to potential clients.