Alfa Laval begins testing new fuels to support sustainable shipping

Source: press release, 8 March 2021

Methanol delivery to the Test & Training Centre (photo: Alfa Laval)
Methanol delivery to the Test & Training Centre (photo: Alfa Laval)

Alfa Laval – global provider in heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling solutions – will soon start testing two new types of marine fuels: biofuels (made from waste) and methanol, at its Test & Training Centre in Denmark. To make these non-carbon fuels commercially viable can have a big impact on the marine industry as it strives towards zero carbon shipping.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) targets a 50% reduction of vessel-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To achieve the long-term target of decarbonisation, the industry must shift to new fuel types and technologies. The Alfa Laval Test & Training Centre in Aalborg, Denmark is taking a key role in testing new types of fuels to adapt and develop equipment for the vessels’ engine rooms and support the industry’s journey towards decarbonisation. The 2,800 m2 testing space – already equipped for today’s oil and gas fuels – has been readied for testing biofuels and methanol. The tests will begin during the spring.

“A number of fuel pathways are on the table in the transition towards zero carbon shipping but the knowledge about their impact on marine equipment solutions is limited. We want to extend that knowledge through testing,” says Sameer Kalra, President of the Marine Division. “It is our ambition to develop viable technology solutions in cooperation with other marine players, so that our customers can achieve their climate goals irrespective of the selected fuel pathway.”

Since ships have a lifetime of 20 years or more, zero-emission vessels must begin entering the global fleet by 2030 for a 50% reduction to be achieved by 2050. It is predicted that in 2023 the world’s first carbon neutral liner vessel will be launched and that methanol-fuelled vessel will be ready for delivery in 2 years’ time.