The PaxOcean shipyard in Zhoushan, China has completed the retrofit of a container ship with a methanol dual-fuel engine for X-Press Feeders in what PaxOcean claims is a world first. 

The 1,170 TEU feeder vessel was only delivered to the Singaporean carrier in March 2024 as a ‘methanol-ready’ ship but was commissioned for a retrofit at the Zhoushan shipyard soon after it was constructed. 

As with X-Press’ purpose-built methanol-powered ships, the Eco Umande has been fitted with a MAN Energy Solutions 5S50ME engine. 

While the vessel was originally built with a methanol fuel reserve, the retrofit saw PaxOcean add a complete methanol fuel system, including stainless steel pipes for its supply and modifications to existing fuel systems. 

X-Press says that the retrofit furthers its position as one of the industry leaders in pushing the use of methanol as a more sustainable alternative to traditional marine gas oil. 

Last month, the company conducted the first simultaneous methanol bunkering and cargo operation in the Port of Singapore. In July last year, X-Press became the first feeder carrier to sign a green methanol deal with OCI Global. 

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The operator has made 14 dual-fuel vessel orders in the last few years, with deliveries beginning at the beginning of 2024 and continuing until mid-2026 as part of X-Press’ ambition to reach net zero by 2050. 

According to its sustainability plans, the dual-fuel ships will produce around 65% less greenhouse gas emissions than X-Press conventional vessels, with the potential for carbon neutrality with the use of green methanol.