International classification society Korean Register (KR) and Ulsan Port Authority (UPA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support methanol-fueled ships and establish the South Korean port as a low-carbon, eco-friendly energy hub.


Methanol is a clean-burning marine fuel which produces 99% fewer sulfur oxides (SOx), 80% fewer nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 25% fewer greenhouse gases compared to conventional marine fuels.


A growing number of dual-fuel methanol vessels are being ordered by international shipping companies, and in October South Korean shipping company KSS Marine took delivery of the country's first methanol-powered vessel, MV Savonetta Sun, a 50,000 dwt product tanker.

In the statement, the Korean Register noted that the agreement was made in response to the low-carbon energy transition underway in the shipping and port industries.

"UPA is actively working to make eco-friendly, and low-carbon fuels become more of a universal feature in shipping and port markets. We will support the widespread use of methanol-fueled ships and methanol bunkering in cooperation with KR using Ulsan port, one of the key energy hubs of North-East Asia," said Jeong Chang-gyu, vice president of UPA.

Both organizations will collaborate on regulatory reform, deregulation of methanol-fueled ships and methanol bunkering, utilizing independent tank terminals in Ulsan as methanol storage facilities, testing methanol bunkering at Ulsan port and building methanol supply infrastructure in Korean ports.