The City of Yokohama, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical (MGC) and Maersk have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development of green methanol bunkering infrastructure at the Port of Yokohama, Japan, the location of APM Terminals’ Minami-Honmoku container terminal.
Honmoku container terminal offers the deepest water berth in Japan, with a total length of 1,600 m and a draft of 18m. It is the only terminal in Japan capable of handling vessels of over 14,000 TEU with capabilities up to 24,000 TEU.
Equipped with state-of-the-art STS cranes with a maximum outreach of 24 rows, the terminal covers a total area of 854,000 m2. It has an annual handling capacity of approximately 2.4 million TEU, unprecedented in Japan. The terminal can increase handling capacity through expansion onto neighbouring land.
“Minami-Honmoku is Japan’s most advanced container terminal and was developed under a national strategy aiming for international competitiveness,” commented Managing Director Sakura Kuma. “I am sure that decarbonisation will naturally become a core part of the future competitiveness, and I am thrilled to play a role in assisting both Maersk and the City of Yokohama on this green methanol bunkering initiative, which is lightening our path toward net zero in 2040.”
APM Terminals has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2040. Yokohama is at the forefront of developing Japan’s green shipping corridors, and this latest agreement supports Maersk’s growing fleet of 16,000 TEU green methanol-powered container vessels.
It will equip 25 container vessels with dual-fuel engines capable of sailing on green methanol. The successful implementation of this initiative relies heavily on establishing a port bunkering infrastructure for methanol worldwide.
“Yokohama Port has proudly held the record for the highest number of foreign vessel calls in Japan for around 60 years, underscoring its critical role in maritime transportation where ‘fuel supply and bunkering for vessels’ holds significant importance,” commented Dr Takeharu Yamanaka, Mayor of Yokohama.
Promoting Green Methanol
“Moving forward, the three parties involved will collaborate to promote the use of green methanol in accordance with the memorandum. Yokohama aims to spearhead the development of Japan’s green shipping corridors while also aiming to explore and invite more like-minded future partners to join the initiative.”
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical has been a trailblazer in methanol production in Japan since 1952, establishing itself as the largest supplier with a contribution of over 50% of the country’s methanol supply. Leveraging its extensive methanol production technology, it will continue to drive sustainable solutions and resource efficiency in the country.
“We believe that establishing methanol as a ship fuel supply base in Japan is an important initiative that will contribute to international maritime transport and Japan’s carbon neutrality,” said Masashi Fujii, President of Mitsubishi Gas Chemical. “
The collaboration will examine operational feasibility and develop port facilities required for green methanol bunkering at the Port of Yokohama. Through joint efforts, the partners seek to drive innovation, foster safety, and accelerate the adoption of sustainable methanol solutions in the maritime industry in Japan.
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