Proman Stena Bulk has announced that steel cutting has started for its IMOIIMeMAX methanol-fuelled 49,900 dwt tanker Stena Pro Patria.

Stena Pro Patria is scheduled for delivery in early 2022.

The new vessel will be the first of the three methanol tankers to be constructed by the joint venture between Swiss-based Proman Shipping and Swedish Stena Bulk.

On 7 January 2021, the steel cutting for Stena Pro Patria commenced at Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) in China.

As part of the partnership, two additional ships, Stena ProMare and Stena Prosperous, will also be built.

For optimised energy and fuel efficiency, Stena Pro Patria will feature various design and technical improvements.

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The vessel will emit less nitrogen oxide (NOx) due to the introduction of new water and fuel emulsion technologies in its MAN dual-fuel engines.

Furthermore, it will use nearly 12,500t of methanol as fuel annually, reducing the volume of carbon and greenhouse gas emissions significantly.

Stena Bulk president and CEO Erik Hånell said: “The steel cutting for Stena Pro Patria is the first step in a fascinating series of projects that will further strengthen Stena’s commitment to sustainability excellence and with spearheading shipping’s fuel innovation and wider decarbonisation journey.

“In a quest of such magnitude, we’re proud to embrace a partnership approach through our successful joint venture with Proman. It’s fantastic to count on a partner like Proman to bring their exceptional latest innovations and dedicated expertise in the methanol field, together with our progressive vision for minimum environmental impact.”

Proman Shipping managing director Anita Gajadhar said: “This steel-cutting ceremony represents an important milestone for the Proman Stena Bulk partnership, marking the beginning of construction and day one in the life of the Stena Pro Patria, our first vessel together.

“We are very excited to begin this enterprise with Stena Bulk, with whom we are proud to share a sense of purpose, as well as a commitment to continued innovation in the shipping industry. Today brings us another step closer towards reaping the benefits of methanol as a future-proof marine fuel and, in doing so, driving the transition towards more sustainable shipping worldwide.”

In November 2020, Proman Stena Bulk signed an agreement to construct an additional methanol-powered vessel under its joint venture partnership.

Stena Prosperous vessel will join Stena ProPatria and the Stena ProMare vessels in the Proman Stena fleet in the second half of 2022.