The National Energy Corporation of T&T Ltd has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Methanex Trinidad Ltd to conduct a feasibility study to explore the viability of methanol as an alternative fuel for transport in this country and the region.
A joint statement explained that this MOU represents a public-private sector partnership in support of the Government’s Paris Agreement commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 per cent by 2030 from a 2013 baseline.
It said when compared to conventional marine fuels, methanol as a clean-burning liquid fuel has the immediate ability to meet the International Maritime Organisation regulations (IMO) 2020 air quality emissions regulations that benefit human health.
It added that methanol as a marine fuel can reduce sulphur oxide and particulate matter emissions by more than 95 per cent, nitrogen oxide by up to 80 per cent and CO2 emissions during combustion by up to 15 per cent.
Methanol also offers multiple pathways to decarbonisation to meet future emission compliance, including the IMO’s 2030 and 2050 decarbonisation goals.
In addition, the statement said there is growing interest in methanol as an alternative fuel for road transportation due to its emission benefits.
It added the study will determine the feasibility of the use of domestically produced methanol as a marine fuel in the region, thus substituting for imported diesel and heavy fuel oils in T&T as a vehicle fuel.
Methanex methanol-fueled ships at National Energy’s Savonetta Pier 4 on August.
COURTESY NATIONAL ENERGY AND METHANEX
“As the world’s largest producer and supplier of methanol globally, Methanex is actively supporting the adoption of methanol as an alternative marine and automotive fuel and brings its renowned expertise towards this partnership,” the statement said.
For example, it said through its subsidiary Waterfront Shipping, Methanex currently operates a fleet of 12 methanol-fuelled ships.
By 2023, about 60 per cent of its 30-ship fleet will operate on methanol dual-fuel technology creating a fleet capable of having one of the world’s lowest emission profiles.
President and managing director of Methanex Colin Bain said he is optimistic about the partnership adding, “The MOU is a key step forward for T&T. Methanol, with its clean burning characteristics makes it an attractive pathway compared to conventional transport fuel and a step towards T&T’s green agenda targets.”
Bain said Methanex and National Energy have a rich history of collaboration. National Energy is also taking a leading role in the energy transition.
President Dr Vernon Paltoo who also welcomed the partnership said with over 40 years of experience in the development of the energy industry, the company is well-positioned to play an integral role in transitioning T&T to a low-carbon future.
“The work arising out of this MOU will surely change the narrative for using alternative fuels locally. As a member of The NGC Group, the execution of this MOU between National Energy and Methanex advances the group’s green agenda for a sustainable future for the people of T&T,” he added.