Sustainable Marine Methanol solutions for smaller vessels

SUMMETH, the Sustainable Marine Methanol project, which investigated and advanced development of methanol engine and fuel solutions for smaller ships, has recently been completed and the final reports are now available. The project concludes that methanol can be used efficiently as a combustion fuel for smaller vessels, resulting in significant environmental benefits. Particulate emissions are greatly reduced, there are no sulphur emissions, and large reductions in GHG emissions are possible if renewable methanol is used. SSPA was project manager and contributed work on environmental assessments, feasibility of sustainable methanol supply, and safety assessment.

SUMMETH was carried out to investigate and develop methanol engine and fuel solutions for smaller ships and to assess the environmental benefits and feasibility of transporting and supplying sustainable methanol as ship fuel. Although methanol is now used in dual fuel solutions on a few large vessels such as the Stena Germanica, it had not been tested on smaller vessels. The SUMMETH project included experimental testing of several methanol concepts for smaller engines, in the 250 to 1200 kW range, and also developed a design for conversion of a Swedish road ferry to methanol operation. The project showed that the use of methanol fuel in small vessels is feasible and results in significant environmental benefits as compared to conventional fuel oil. 

More information about the SUMMETH project, including the final reports, can be found at


The Swedish road ferry Saturnus. Photo: Truls Persson, The Swedish Transport Administration.