On 12 December 2023 X-Press Feeders, the world’s largest independent common carrier, announced plans to use dual-fuel vessels, powered by green methanol, to create ‘green routes’ early next year to the Scandinavia-Baltic region of northern Europe.
The maritime shipping company, which operates a fleet of more than 100 vessels, has 14 dual-fuel vessels on order and due for delivery from next year’s first quarter through to mid-2026. X-Press Feeders’ 14 dual-fuel ships are each at 1,200TEU capacity with length overall of 148 metres.
The first dual-fuel vessel, Eco Maestro, will undertake its maiden voyage in Q1 next year, from Shanghai – where the ship is built – to the Port of Rotterdam via the Suez Canal.
Eco Maestro, the first bio methanol-powered ship to be built in China, will use bio-methanol for her voyage to Europe. Bio-methanol is a renewable energy source produced from the decomposition of organic matter, such as waste and residues. Because bio methanol is produced from a renewable source, it is often referred to as green methanol.
While X-Press Feeders is committed to using green methanol, the availability and distribution of methanol at ports on a global scale still poses a challenge.
After her inaugural voyage from Shanghai to Rotterdam, Eco Maestro will be operating on a feeder network in Northern Europe, based in the Port of Rotterdam. The green routes will start in next year’s second quarter and be from Rotterdam to ports in Scandinavia and the Baltic states.
X-Press Feeders will be the world’s first dedicated feeder carrier to operate a container vessel powered by green methanol. It has already signed a firm contract with Dutch fuel supplier OCI Global for the supply of green methanol at the Port of Rotterdam starting from 2024. OCI’s green methanol is ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification) certified.