FASTWATER

FASTWATER project launched

The research project FASTWATER (Track to Clean and Carbon-Neutral WATERborne Transport through Gradual Introduction of Methanol Fuel) has been officially launched, with a kick-off meeting held in early June. A consortium of Europe’s maritime research and technology leaders has launched the project. The project will demonstrate the feasibility of retrofit and newbuild vessels to operate on methanol as a pathway to fossil-free shipping. SSPA’s extensive experience with alternative fuels, including methanol, and design and development of ships with a focus on energy efficiency, will be utilised to help ensure the success of the project.

With funding from the European Commission, FASTWATER will focus on high impact outcomes, designing solutions for existing ships and designs for newbuildings, demonstrating methanol as a future-proof marine fuel to create a fast track to carbon neutral shipping.

The project aims to commercialise medium and high-speed methanol-fuelled engines for shipping. Consortium members, including original engine manufacturers, shipyards, naval architects, ship owners/operators, port and maritime authorities, classification, fuel producers, and research institutes, will demonstrate feasibility on three vessels running on methanol fuel: a harbour tug, a pilot boat, and a coast guard vessel. A conversion concept for a river cruise ship using methanol-driven propulsion will also be developed and a universal, scalable retrofit kit for converting diesel fuelled ships to methanol use for a wide power range (200 kW-4 MW) will be validated.

In addition, FASTWATER will provide training programs for vessel crew and portside staff, develop rules and regulations for methanol marine fuel use, demonstrate the complete value chain for bunkering methanol – including net carbon neutral renewable methanol – elaborate a business plan, and identify CO2 and conventional pollutant reductions facilitated by the next generation methanol propulsion systems.

SSPA’s role in the FASTWATER project is to lead the work on fuel logistics, standards, safety, and training in Work Package 7. SSPA will also contribute to the ship demonstration cases, and the life cycle and business assessment. SSPA’s extensive experience with alternative fuels, including methanol, and design and development of ships with a focus on energy efficiency, will be utilised to help ensure the success of the FASTWATER project. 

- “SSPA is excited to be part of the continuing development in FASTWATER towards the use of methanol as a climate neutral fuel for shipping”, says Joanne Ellis, Ph.D. Senior Researcher & Project Manager at SSPA.

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement No 860251.


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SSPA is part of a consortium of Europe’s maritime research and technology leaders that has launched the FASTWATER project.