Methanol Powered Shipping


The methanol life cycle within the shipping industry refers to the process of producing, distributing, and using methanol, while minimizing its environmental impact and ensuring sustainability. The MENENS project helps driving the adoption of methanol as a marine fuel, by improving the performance and reliability of methanol-based power and energy systems, de-risking the integration of these system into ships and demonstrating this for several relevant use cases.


Within the MENENS project a group of 21 maritime companies and knowledge institutes work together to revolutionise shipping through the adoption of methanol as an alternative energy carrier. The goal is to make a significant impact on the Dutch shipping industry and reduce CO2 emissions by laying out the framework for equivalent safe use of methanol as a fuel in commercial shipping that is cost-effective and sustainable.
Methanol has the potential to be a game-changer for the shipping industry due to its low cost and low emissions. It can be used as a stand-alone fuel or in combination with other fuels, and can be produced from renewable sources like sustainable biomass, typically called bio methanol, or from carbon dioxide and hydrogen produced from renewable electricity, typically called e-methanol. Despite these advantages, there are still challenges to overcome before methanol can be widely adopted in the industry, such as a lack of infrastructure and the need for further research and development to improve the performance of methanol-powered engines.

As can be seen in the project roadmap below, the research focus is broad; from in-depth knowledge development on methanol power generation (WP1), safe storage (WP2), system design & integration (WP3), and lab testing including power & energy management and control (WP4), to on board realisation by retrofits, full-scale measurements and validation feedback (WP5-7). Use cases are being defined to look beyond the horizon and envision the ships of the future. This will serve as a basis for the scope of the WP3-4 research group, which examines the future power & energy system design.

The MENENS project partners span the entire Dutch maritime sector, including shipowners, shipyards/naval architects, OEMs/suppliers and knowledge institutes. The project kicked-off November 2021 and will run until December 2025. The project has been awarded a grant of EURO 24.3 million by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO).

The goals of the MENENS project align with those outlined in the Maritime Master Plan, which aspires to establish the Netherlands as a global leader in sustainable shipbuilding and shipping, including a target of having 30 zero-emission ships in operation by 2030.


Contact person photo

Christian Veldhuis

Team Leader Ships - Simulation & Development | Senior Project Manager | Research coordinator Zero Emission Shipping

MENENS project plan