Proman Stena Bulk successfully completes US Gulf Coast’s first barge-to-ship methanol bunkering
Stena Pro Marine and Stena Prosperous bunkered via barge at the Port of Houston earlier in April 2023
21 April 2023, Wollerau, Switzerland and Houston, TX – Proman Stena Bulk, the joint venture between leading tanker company Stena Bulk and the leading methanol producer Proman, has today announced the successful completion of the first ever barge-to-ship methanol bunkering on the US Gulf Coast.
The JV tankers Stena Pro Marine and Stena Prosperous were refuelled with methanol via barge while discharging clean petroleum products at a terminal in the Port of Houston in the first week of April.
Stena Pro Marine was bunkered with 1,408MT of methanol, and Stena Prosperous was refuelled with 1,203MT during the operation. Both ships were time-chartered to a global trading house at the time of the refuelling.
The barge bunkering operation was conducted jointly with Kirby Corporation, the largest tanker barge provider in the United States. The ability to refuel both vessels with methanol whilst they were alongside demonstrates the ease and minimal infrastructure requirements associated with methanol as a marine fuel, as well as its widespread availability.
Speaking on the announcement, Anita Gajadhar, Executive Director, Marketing, Logistics and Shipping, Proman, said: “Completing the first barge-to-ship methanol bunkering on the US Gulf Coast is a tremendous achievement for the Proman Stena Bulk joint venture. The Port of Houston is a major global cargo hub with significant latent methanol storage capacity. These qualities made it a natural testbed for our first US ship-to-ship bunkering.
“Proman Stena Bulk continues to work with partners across the supply chain to develop methanol bunkering facilities worldwide and at key strategic bunker hubs. Announcements like today’s continue to prove the viability of the methanol marine fuel supply chain.”
“Kirby was pleased to be the service provider for this job,” said Kirby Marine Group President, Christian O’Neil. “It was a natural for us: We have extensive expertise with methanol as a cargo, with conventional bunkering, and with barge-to-ship lightering of all manner of products. We are committed to remaining a leader in energy transportation, regardless of the form that energy takes. We look forward to doing this again and again in Houston and beyond.”